“Not a Question of If, But When” – F1 Legend Hails Max Verstappen as a Future Champion

Published 03/07/2020, 3:36 PM EST


Former F1 driver and World Champion Mario Andretti had words of praise for Max Verstappen. The American hailed the Dutchman’s driving potential and made some bold predictions regarding Verstappen’s career.

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Mario Andretti praises Max Verstappen

Verstappen is a breath of fresh air in F1. The Dutchman’s fearless driving ability coupled with his controlled aggression has garnered him thousands of fans around the worldwide. Entire grandstands are often packed with Verstappen’s die-hard followers, dubbed the ‘Orange Army’.

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The 22-year-old derives his exceptional race craft from an aggressive form of driving. The ‘just go for it’ attitude was missing in F1 for quite some time and Verstappen pulled it back from oblivion. Moreover, Max isn’t afraid to go wheel to wheel racing under any circumstance.

However, this has led to many fans questioning Verstappen’s driving style. Some feel the Dutchman can be overly aggressive at times and drive in an erratic manner. Furthermore, some drivers have also admitted that they defend differently when battling with Max.

Verstappen had his best season in F1 in 2019. The Dutchman finished third in the Drivers’ Championship, picking up 3 victories along the way.

However, Verstappen is yet to clinch a World Championship in F1. This is mainly due to Red Bull’s inability to deliver a competitive car.

Verstappen has loads of time ahead of him but Red Bull must deliver sooner rather than later. Otherwise, the Milton-Keynes outfit could lose the Dutch star to a rival team. Moreover, it would be a shame for Verstappen to become another ‘wasted potential’ in F1.

1978 World Champion Mario Andretti echoed these words. The American driver believes Red Bull and Verstappen will be World Champions in the foreseeable future.

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Speaking to Motorsport.com, Andretti said:

“Looking at the quality they have at Red Bull and the winning mentality – they’ve been champions in the past and they’re determined to be champions again – they’ll fight Mercedes and Ferrari,”

“He’s shown to have exceptional quality. Talents like him are very rare. He’s absolutely a potential world champion, there’s no doubt about that. It’s not a matter of if but when he’ll be champion. If the Red Bull car is good enough, he’ll take care of the rest.” 

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Can Red Bull take the fight to Mercedes in 2020 or will the silver arrows make it 7 in a row?

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Abhishek Bharadwaj

720 articles

Abhishek Bharadwaj is an F1 author and content strategist at EssentiallySports. Having joined ES in January 2020, he has over 700 articles to his name. While he was first introduced to the world of F1 in 2006, he started religiously following the sport in 2012 and has had an undying passion for it ever since.

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