Too early to tell if Verstappen can match F1 greats – Berger

Max Verstappen’s maiden F1 win may have marked him out as future world champion material, but it’s too early to know if he will be as good as greats like Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, says Gerhard Berger. With Verstappen’s Spanish Grand Prix success having earned high praise, the Dutchman has been widely tipped to deliver even greater things in the future.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

And former F1 winner Berger, who is a close friend of Red Bull chiefs having formerly owned Toro Rosso, is one of those convinced about the qualities that Verstappen possesses.

“He is a world championship candidate…no question,” Berger told

But having been in F1 for just more than one season, and having had just a single race in a top car, Berger thinks it premature to talk about him yet in the same bracket as some of F1’s previous superstars.

When asked if he should be viewed at the same level as drivers like Senna and Schumacher, Berger said: “I wouldn’t say same level yet, because it is difficult to say at this stage. But I wouldn’t say no.”
Positive for F1

Berger also believes that the manner of Verstappen’s triumph after a shock switch to Red Bull was a positive story for F1 – as it has given fans plenty to talk about.

“I think it is great for Formula 1 to have an 18-year-old boy doing what he is doing,” he explained.

“It is great for Red Bull to prove it was right to bring him early into F1 and to put him into the other team. The whole story is a nice story.”

Story by Jonathan Noble,