Former Mercedes F1 Honcho Makes an Honest Confession About Max Verstappen

Published 12/24/2021, 8:18 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Young Driver Test – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 14, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Max Verstappen has recently been crowned the Dutch sportsperson of the year. His heroics on the track in the 2021 F1 season have earned him the F1 title and a significant amount of appreciation from the entire motorsports community, even from his rivals. The Dutchman ended up winning 10 Grand Prix and a record 18 podium finishes to reignite Red Bull’s dominance in the sport.

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Former Mercedes honcho Norbert Haug recently made an honest confession about the 24-year-old. He believes that Verstappen is a special talent and that he will certainly end up winning many more championships. However, the maiden title wasn’t a piece of cake for him.

Lewis Hamilton looked all set to add another trophy to his cabinet till the tables turned in Abu Dhabi.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crosses the line to win the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Now that the contentious championship result is finally decided, the two drivers will look to make a mark in 2022. But many believe that the era of Max Verstappen’s dominance has begun and Hamilton might get pushed back a little.

Haug lauds Max Verstappen for a tremendous campaign

In a recent interview published by FormulaPassion, the former VP of Mercedes had good things to say about the dominant campaign of the Dutchman. Verstappen didn’t seem to put even a foot wrong in the entire season. Out of the 19 races he completed this season, he earned a podium finish in 18 of them.

A performance like this demands laurels be sent his way. Haug took a moment to appreciate Verstappen’s clinical effort this season. “One thing is certain: Max Verstappen is very, very special. He makes incredible maneuvers, which often go through. He rarely goes wrong, his mistakes have been greatly reduced,” said the German, as reported by FormulaPassion.

“You just have to admit that Verstappen is a really special driver,” added Haug.

Berger believes there are many more to come for Verstappen

Former Ferrari driver Gerald Berger has witnessed many iconic rivalries in his racing days. He has firsthand experienced the growth of stalwarts like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. The Aussie driver believes Max Verstappen has the skills and talent to be a multiple world champion.

In a recent interview with Servus TV, he made this bold prediction. “In the end, he had a bit of luck, but I think Max will be champion again and again. If we look at pure talent, he is an exceptional driver: he can still grow, but it will not be easy,” reports FormulaPassion.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing second in the race and world championship with race and world championship winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and third placed in the race Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Berger also made a point that Verstappen took on the likes of Lewis Hamilton, statistically the greatest F1 driver. “Let’s not forget that we are talking about a guy capable of beating Lewis Hamilton, who was one step away from overtaking Michael Schumacher in terms of the number of World Championships won.

“Lewis has to try again next year: that’s why next year will be another exciting year of Formula 1,” predicted Berger.

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The drivers will be soon returning to the tracks for the winter testing as the world gets ready for the 2022 F1 season. With new regulations in place, what surprises do you predict?

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Rituraj Tripathi

244 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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