Racing to an unexpected victory at Silverstone on Sunday, Ross Brawn says Max Verstappen reminds him of Michael Schumacher in “many ways”.
There are few people in the paddock who know Schumacher as well as Brawn does.
The Englishman was at the German’s side for all seven of his World titles, first with Benetton and then with Ferrari.
Now working as Formula 1’s sporting boss under CEO Chase Carey, Brawn is getting to watch what could be the rise of another legend in Verstappen.
Although the Dutchman, competing in his sixth full season in Formula 1, has yet to win a World title, Verstappen is up against the dominant Mercedes team whereas in Schumacher’s days he was more often than not the dominant party.
Instead of fighting for titles, Verstappen is having to do everything he and Red Bull can just to beat Mercedes on grand prix Sundays.
The 22-year-old did just that on Sunday.
Using an alternate strategy, Verstappen raced to the victory some 11 seconds up the road from Lewis Hamilton and even had the time to joke with Red Bull on the radio.
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“Max was simply sensational at Silverstone,” Brawn wrote in his post-70th Anniversary Grand Prix column.
“He reminds me of Michael Schumacher in many ways. When you listen to his radio, he’s clearly got spare capacity.
“The limit of the car is not the limit of Max Verstappen. He is able to feel the subtlety of the car and respond perfectly.
“I remember Max’s early days in Formula 1 where his speed was clear – he has now matured in to an exceptional racing driver.
“I loved his radio, particularly when he said he didn’t want to “drive like a grandma” when the team asked him to manage his tyres. It shows huge confidence and a relationship in the team, which is very strong.”
Verstappen’s win at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix moved him up to second place in the Drivers’ Championship where he trails Hamilton by 30 points.