“Max Verstappen Doesn’t Have Michael Schumacher’s Feel”: Ex-ferrari Boss Highlights Major Difference Between F1’s Goats

Published 12/08/2023, 8:54 AM EST

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In the world of Formula One, there’s no shortage of GOATs. Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Jim Clark, and Sebastian Vettel are all the names that come rushing to the top of our minds when discussing the greatest drivers of all time. However, after three spectacular seasons, Max Verstappen is also making his way onto the list. While some might claim that it might be too early to say that he’s certainly in the conversation given that it’s still early in his career, most argue that he’s already achieved ample.

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Verstappen recently put on the single-most dominant season any driver has in the history of the sport. However, despite him being a contemporary of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, there’s rather a lot of comparison between Verstappen and Schumacher. Both drivers have very similar driving styles and are also winning championships in a similar dominant fashion. So, the question really is – does Max Verstappen equal the greatness and aura that Michael Schumacher presented? Not according to the former Ferrari boss, Peter Windsor.

Ex-Ferrari boss talks about differences between Schumacher and Verstappen

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Responding to a fan question during the ‘LIVE F1 chat with PETER WINDSOR’, the former Ferrari boss stated how Michael was a different breed altogether. “I think the major difference is that Michael had this global view of the motorsport. This overall global presence enabled him to do what he did at a relatively young age. He took good people from Benetton,” Windsor said.

Further comparing the two drivers, the F1 journalist, said, “Basically, with Jean Todt and Ross Brawn (he) put that whole team together at Ferrari. Completely rebuilt Ferrari. Michael should take a lot of credit for that and win those additional five world championships,”

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However, Windsor opined that Verstappen wouldn’t be able to achieve something of a similar effect ever. “(Max) will never have the opportunity to do that, cause Max will always be in Red Bull. I’m sure he will. Even if he decided to leave Red Bull, I’m not sure he’s got that sort of Michael feel, of putting the exact right person to do exactly the right job on the car. I may be wrong.”

Apart from this, however, he said he feels that the two are pretty much similar. Even when it comes to the driving styles, both these legendary drivers love a twitchy front-end, with an over-steery car. However, he also opined that Max is the more “compliant driver”, citing Michael’s “arrogance” to force the issue causing some incidents.

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Similar to Windsor, a lot of experts have weighed in on this, including people who have worked closely with Formula One over the last couple of decades. Even Bernie Ecclestone chimed in with his take about this, not too long ago.

Bernie Ecclestone heaps praises on Max Verstappen

The former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone had basically stated that Max is “the best driver to drive in Formula 1 since the establishment of the sport”. This, coming from the man who spent a lot of time with the likes of Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, and most importantly, Schumacher himself, has got to mean a lot to the three-time world champion.

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Ecclestone stated that when it comes to extracting the very best from a car, no driver has ever done it better than Max. In fact, he went as far as to call Verstappen’s skill-level, “unparalleled”.

“Max is unparalleled in terms of skill. I used to say it was Alain Prost who was the greatest, but now I have no hesitation in saying it’s Max. He has an incredible ability to extract the maximum from a car. Unlike others, he doesn’t make a fuss; he just gets on with it,” Ecclestone had said.

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However, regardless of how many opinions come in, at the end of the day, there is no way to truly pinpoint who the single greatest driver of all time will be. This will always remain a topic of contention, and subjective to each and every individual.

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Written by:

Anirudh Kidambi

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"I have always believed that victory comes when we dare to dream big, and the courage to pursue those dreams." Hi, I'm Anirudh - Your Seasoned F1 Wordsmith at EssentiallySports I'm not just a writer; I'm a passionate scribe with an insatiable curiosity that fuels every word. My love affair with Formula 1 began in 2003 when I was merely 3 years old, and it has been my enduring passion ever since.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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