Martin Brundle believes Max Verstappen is a mixture of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton – but that doesn’t “necessarily” mean he is better than all of them.
Verstappen’s stranglehold on the sport extended into a third season after winning his first F1 World Championship title in 2021 and is the clear favourite to add title number four to his trophy cabinet in 2024.
After a 2023 campaign in which he won a whopping 19 races out of a possible 22, it has forced everyone to reflect on where Verstappen ranks amongst the all-time best drivers to have graced F1 since its creation.
Martin Brundle: Max Verstappen ‘ the real deal’ but…
In a recent Sky F1 Q&A, a fan shared some observations that Verstappen has the ‘raw speed’ of Ayrton Senna, the ‘smooth ability’ of Alain Prost and now the ‘metronomic ability’ of Michael Schumacher.
Brundle was asked whether he would agree with that current assessment and started by revealing some interesting insight from Prost following a recent chat.
“I think all of the above,” Brundle said.
“I did a Q&A that I was hosting with Alain Prost and I asked him that sort of question. As a four-time World Champion who’s about to be potentially matched by Max, and he said he never wants to compare drivers.
“He said he had five World Champions as team-mates, and they were all completely different, including him. And I thought, well, if that’s what Alan Prost thinks, then it’s hard to argue against that.”
Brundle went to on to say that, in his opinion, Verstappen has showed clear signs of displaying traits that have made other F1 drivers great, but that does not mean he is therefore better than all of them.
He added: “What I do think is that Max has got the talent, the touch – like a Senna sort of feel for grip and he’s now got the confidence and the experience to deliver it in qualy, race, rain, shine, red flags, restart.
“He’s getting like Michael and Lewis where he’s got the full traffic management, the big overtake, playing the percentage game. He’s a combination of all of those, but does that make him better than all of those?
“Not necessarily, but he he’s the real deal and he’s the complete package.