Max Verstappen has more talent than Sebastian Vettel, according to the man who gave both their break at the top level of Formula 1 – Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. Vettel won four championships in Red Bull’s dominant run between 2010-2013 and Horner believes Verstappen has all the characteristics required to replicate that success.
Verstappen has won four grands prix since switching to Red Bull during the 2016 campaign, but his paltry return is rarely assigned to a lack of talent – rather Renault’s failure to deliver a competitive power unit.
Red Bull hope that switching to Honda in 2019 will help put them back on an even keel with Mercedes and Ferrari, with Verstappen at the forefront of their charge alongside Pierre Gasly after Daniel Ricciardo‘s switch to Renault.
With the Dutchman often hailed as a champion in waiting, Horner says Verstappen has the potential to be even greater than the current standard-bearer for Red Bull’s academy.
“Max has more talent, he is like a lion when he is in the car. He never gives up, never,” Horner told Autobild.
“He has a crazy fighting spirit. And in fact he reminds me of Sebastian in some ways. Even the way he gets into the car reminds me of him.
“He is still a young guy, younger than Seb when he came to us. But he is becoming an adult driver and man.”
Verstappen has spoken of his desire to match Vettel’s four championships by the time he turns 30 – Horner has no doubt that he is capable of doing so if Red Bull can give him the machinery.
“There is no guarantee. But he has all the skills you need to become a multiple champion. The next generation with drivers like Leclerc and Max will give us a lot of pleasure.”