Ex-F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle believes Max Verstappen is Ayrton Senna-esque in his driving traits and should already be considered an F1 great.
Formula 1 is very much in the Verstappen era, the dominant Dutchman having secured a third World Championship in as many years in F1 2023, winning 19 of the 22 grands prix held.
Not only was that tally a record, his streak of 10 consecutive wins within it was too, as he won the title with more than double the points of Red Bull team-mate and Championship runner-up Sergio Perez.
Martin Brundle places Max Verstappen among F1 greats
Verstappen has become the class of the field at the wheel of Red Bull machinery, Brundle seeing the clear comparisons to legendary three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna, arguing Verstappen joins him as one of the best F1 has ever seen.
Asked if Verstappen is Senna-esque, Sky F1 pundit Brundle replied: “Yeah, he is.
“In terms of his car control, and that sixth sense of where the grip is and what to do with it and how to salvage a car that’s heading off in the wrong direction.
“I think already now when you’re having a conversation about greatest of all time, and you will go back to [Juan Manuel] Fangio and [Sir Stirling] Moss and [Jim] Clark and [Sir Jackie] Stewart and [Sir Lewis] Hamilton, [Alain] Prost, [Niki] Lauda, it goes on, you’ve got to include already Max Verstappen in that discussion.”
Brundle’s fellow Sky F1 pundit Naomi Schiff feels more time is needed to determine whether Verstappen will go on to become a figure like Senna, though believes the Dutchman is “in the making” of becoming an F1 great.
“Absolutely, I think Max is in the making of becoming one of the greats,” she said.
“I mean, statistically, he’s already well up there for his age. But at the same time, you have to say that it rarely happens in sport, although sports has the power to unite people and give us a real sense of emotion, every now and again, there’s rarely a character like Ayrton Senna, so it’s difficult to say whether Max would be like Ayrton Senna.
“I don’t think it’d be fair to compare the two. I think Max is an incredible driver, I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him. I think he’s going to statistically be very great. But will he be Ayrton Senna? We’ll maybe have to wait to find out.”
Verstappen has the longest contract on the F1 grid, keeping him with Red Bull until the end of 2028.