Nico Rosberg: Max Verstappen is ‘more aggressive’ than Lewis Hamilton

Thomas Maher
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton.

The rest of the field have one aim – beat Max Verstappen.

2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has lavished praise upon Max Verstappen following the Dutch driver wrapping up his third consecutive title.

Over the Qatar Grand Prix, Verstappen secured his third World title by taking second place in the Sprint race on Saturday, with the Dutch driver joining Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Jackie Stewart on being a triple World Champion.

Nico Rosberg, who won the title in 2016 promptly before retiring from the sport, believes Verstappen is now closing in on the outright records set in the sport – and reckons he has the edge on contemporary rival Lewis Hamilton in outright aggression.

Nico Rosberg: There are lots of similarities between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

With Verstappen adding another string to his bow by becoming a triple World Champion at 26 years old, now only one behind Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel, Rosberg said that Verstappen can be spoken about in the same breath as the all-time greats.

“We’re witnessing absolute greatness and he’s nearing the all-time greats like Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, [Juan Manuel] Fangio, Ayrton Senna – those kind of names,” he told Sky F1.

“It’s incredible the level he’s performing at, the consistency, the accuracy. Unreal.”

With Rosberg having raced against – and beaten – Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in order to win his title, the German ex-driver was asked to evaluate the skillsets of Verstappen and Hamilton as the sport’s leading drivers.

“I’m not sure… there are a lot of similarities in terms of raw pace, I would say they’re very similar,” he said.

“Then, in terms of aggression, maybe Max is a little bit more aggressive, although Lewis, you saw him [in Japan] racing against his own teammate George Russell, I mean, he knows how to go wheel to wheel as well, very aggressively. So there are a lot of similarities.” recommends

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No signs of Max Verstappen momentum slowing down

While Red Bull’s outright dominance may be slowly but surely being slowly eroded away, particularly by the hugely impressive McLaren team, there’s little reason to doubt that Verstappen can’t continue his winning form for some time – especially as the regulations remain stable on into 2024.

Rosberg believes that Verstappen having a stable team in Red Bull, as well as in his own personal bubble, is a vital ingredient in why things are going so well.

“It’s so motivating for all of those within Red Bull to know that they’ve got one of the greatest drivers of all time driving their machine,” he said.

“That’s such a lifting thing and that’s driving them, certainly.

“It’s also an ingredient as to why everybody’s pushing so hard.

“We have to say, Max, he’s also managed to keep a lot of consistency in his team. I think that’s also a very good job of him. He’s kept a great relationship with his dad, and his managers always the same.

“He’s managed his team very closely, very well, and that’s also not easy to do. We’ve seen many other examples where it’s gone a bit wrong.”

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