‘Just Like Hamilton’ – Former F1 Driver Has Huge Words of Appreciation for Max Verstappen

Published 02/07/2021, 5:49 AM EST
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 24: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


In recent years, Max Verstappen has been inching closer to threatening Sir Lewis Hamilton for the championship titles, and it was evident through the 2020 season.

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Despite Red Bull lagging behind in pace, the Dutchman kept churning impressive performances out of the Honda-powered car, giving the front runners a hard time.

And had it not been for Max’s fight, it is safe to say that Mercedes would have snatched the championship title much earlier, consequently delivering a rather unappealing season to the fans.

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So, considering Max’s applaudable effort in F1 so far, will he ever win a championship title?

Well, former F1 driver, Stefan Johansson thinks so. The Swedish racer felt that Max is already showing glimpses of his potential rival, Lewis. Hence, it is highly likely that Max could heir as the next commanding F1 driver.

What did Johansson say?

Speaking to RacingNews365, Johansson expressed his view on Max Verstappen and his chances of fighting for titles in the future.

There are only a few drivers on the F1 grid who have what it takes to become world champion, who know how to win a title. Those three or four drivers who could win a title also include Verstappen,” he said.

The upcoming season could be the season where the much-awaited Lewis-Max rivalry could light up. The Dutchman has been on the sidelines, as Mercedes were just too fast for Red Bull over the last few years. However, 2021 could spring up a surprise.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (the Netherlands) prepares to drive during the F1 demo run in Graz, Austria // Samo Vidic / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull’s engine suppliers, Honda, will be signing off from Formula by the end of 2021. And to provide a strong end to their F1 campaign, the Japanese manufacturers have been quite optimistic about building a much pacy engine for Red Bull.

Hence, if Honda manages to execute their plan to perfection, Max could finally reach the level of Mercedes drivers, Lewis and Valtteri Bottas.

Max Verstappen is of world-class: Johansson

The Swede opened up that Max’s strong 2020 outing is a sign of the Dutchman taking shape into a title contender. “In my eyes, Verstappen has grown into a world title contender in recent years. He has everything,” he said.

The Dutchman took every opportunity to win and, just like Hamilton, he is of world-class. In 2020, Verstappen had a really great season.”

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Overall, Max will be going into the 2021 season with sheer confidence. Moreover, it is likely that he will have a handy teammate alongside him in Sergio Perez.

So, will the deadly Red Bull duo finally put an end to the unstoppable Mercedes’ dominance? Well, let’s see what the future holds.

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Rohit Kumar

934 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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