Red Bull technician picks his F1 GOAT…and it’s not Max Verstappen

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen with a bandage on his right hand. Britain July 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen with a bandage on his right hand. Britain July 2023

Formula 1’s ‘GOAT’ (greatest of all time) debate has different answers for everyone, and while Max Verstappen is in dominant form, one of Red Bull’s senior technicians has not put him quite up there just yet.

Calum Nicholas, Red Bull’s senior power unit assembly technician, has been a mainstay of the team’s garage since joining from Marussia in 2015, having worked with the likes of Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in his time with the team to date.

He has built up a huge online following of more than 150,000 people on Instagram, posting photos of his work and travels in Formula 1 with the reigning World Champions, but was asked the question that everybody has their own answer to: Who is the best ever?

Senior Red Bull technician picks Ayrton Senna as his F1 ‘GOAT’

When answering a selection of quickfire questions while appearing on the Track Limits podcast, Nicholas was asked for who he felt the greatest driver of all time is.

While he is working with a driver who is well on his way to entering the debate for that accolade in future in Verstappen, Nicholas picked out a three-time World Champion who many of the current grid cite as an inspiration as his pick.

After pausing to think about his response, Nicholas said: “It’s a tough one. In terms of just the passion and the soul, I think it would have to be Senna.

“I think, more so than necessarily than the amount of titles he’d won or anything like that, I think just his belief and drive and something I think pretty much all the drivers have now is that we all think of Senna as this amazing character.

“He was a ruthless winner and there is so much to be admired about him, so I think it would have to be [him].”

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Nicholas is one of the key cogs of the Red Bull team that has set the world record for the fastest ever pit stop, the 1.82-second effort for Verstappen at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

In another of the quickfire questions, he was also asked which of the drivers he would pick to drive him around a track blindfolded, to which he had a diplomatic answer.

“To be honest, any of them,” he said, “because I know how much more talented they are than me!”

Read next: Max Verstappen has nothing left to prove – he’s already an all-time F1 great