MotoGP legend and 9-time World champion Valentino Rossi admires Dutch F1 racer Max Verstappen. The Italian said that F1 is “crazy” to try to reign in the Red Bull driver. Rossi said “Verstappen is the new star of Formula One. He is doing really well but they are trying to slow him down, which is crazy. If I had a say in how Formula One is run, I would want 12 Verstappens on the grid. Max is an extraordinary driver. He’s young, he makes fun of the system and he overtakes, which are qualities that the public loves.”
The veteran drew comparisons between Verstappen and another MotoGP rider Johann Zarco. Zarco made his MotoGP debut at the beginning of the year with the Monster Yamaha team. Monster Yamaha is largely considered the sister team to Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha team. In other words, Monster Yamaha being the satellite team, are supposed to be less competitive than the factory team. But nobody told Zarco that, right off the bat he was fighting for the win in the opening round in Qatar.
Rossi continued, “Neither of them ever slows down, so you have to make room otherwise there’s a danger you will both fall”. Valentino Rossi admires Verstappen and Zarco’s aggressive ‘take no prisoners’ approach to racing. In 2017, the factory Yamaha team started off on the front foot but struggled later into the season as Honda and Ducati caught up. Rossi is gunning for his 10th MotoGP title in 2018 but he isn’t getting any younger.
Meanwhile, Verstappen has already been touted by many as a champion in waiting. All he needs is the right machinery underneath him and then he can show everyone what he is made of. What does the 2018 season hold for Rossi and Verstappen? we will have to wait until March to find out.