Former Ferrari Driver Makes Prost-Senna Comparison to Max Verstappen & Charles Leclerc’s F1 Rivalry

Published 01/31/2021, 2:35 PM EST
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – MAY 22: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in Press Conference during the Monaco GP at Monte Carlo on May 22, 2019 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Gareth Harford / Sutton Images)


Things got fairly heated between the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc this season. And they reached a boiling point when Leclerc crashed into Max in Sakhir and took both of them out of the race. They also took a few verbal shots at each other.

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This whole situation seems like déjà vu for a certain former Ferrari driver who is none other than Gerhard Berger. The Austrian plied his trade alongside Ayrton Senna in the early 90s at McLaren. So, he has firsthand experience of his personality along with that of his bitter rival, Alain Prost.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during REUTERS/Clive Mason

He thinks that the two future World Champions mirror them. “I see their rivalry as that of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.” He believes Charles is akin to the ‘professor’ Prost while Max displays shades of Senna.

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“Charles is a calmer person inside the car, driving feeling less emotion. Verstappen on the other hand is very aggressive, a bit like Ayrton. I can’t tell you who would win between the two,” said Berger.

Berger is putting his money where his mouth is by making another bold proclamation regarding these two,Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen would have become world champions with the Mercedes of last season.”

Are Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc better than Lewis Hamilton?

However, he isn’t insinuating anything in respect to Lewis Hamilton with this remark. He is simply highlighting the superiority of the machinery he has at his disposal. On the contrary, he thinks that the Briton is a level above his younger peers.

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“Leclerc and Verstappen are two excellent drivers, but Hamilton remains the most complete and competitive within the starting grid. 

Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

“He always knows how to perfectly read the situation and makes the most of his car every race lap. He manages to exploit the tires optimally, bringing them back to temperatures in a short time after a safety car regime.”

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Hopefully, Berger’s prophecy is right to some extent regarding Leclerc and Verstappen. A rivalry like that could uplift F1 in the near future. They will certainly have some battles in the future if not like Prost and Senna.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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