Max Verstappen showing 'Senna and Schumacher hallmarks'
Sky F1's Martin Brundle predicts the brightest future for 17-year-old after Verstappen wows again with overtaking skills in China
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 21/04/15 1:11pm
Max Verstappen is an F1 “megastar” in the making, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle has predicted.
Despite being aged just 17, Red Bull protege Verstappen appears unfazed by his sudden step up to F1 after a stratospheric rise through the motorsport ranks. The Toro Rosso rookie has impressed in each of his three grand prix weekends to date and last month in Malaysia became the sport’s youngest points scorer by a full two years.
That eye-catching form continued in China on Sunday as Verstappen pulled off several impressive late-braking overtaking moves on rivals to move into the points-paying positions again, although an engine failure robbed him of eighth three laps from home.
Speaking during Sky F1's coverage of the race, Brundle was wowed by the young Dutchman’s driving.
“We’ve got a megastar on our hands in the making here. What confidence in the car,” the former Benetton and McLaren driver enthused.
If that praise wasn’t high enough, then Brundle also drew comparisons with two of the sport’s most legendary drivers as he predicted the brightest future for F1's new young star.
“Verstappen will be a world championship-winning team before he is 20. He is showing all the hallmarks of a Senna, of a Schumacher in my view,” said Brundle, who raced against both multiple champions and was also team-mate to the German in 1992.
“He’s a young guy, but with an old head on his shoulders. He is calm. He will make mistakes, of course he will make mistakes, but he has the speed and he is just not showing a lack of experience."
Should Verstappen, who is signed to a central Red Bull contract, duly arrive at a title-chasing team in the next couple of seasons, then he would have until 2020 to beat Sebastian Vettel's record as F1's youngest ever world champion.
Max Verstappen’s F1 records so far…
Youngest points scorer – 17 years, 5 months and 27 days
Youngest driver – 17 years, 5 months and 13 days
...and the ones in his sights
Youngest world champion – Sebastian Vettel – 23 years, 4 months and 11 days
Youngest race winner – Sebastian Vettel – 21 years, 2 months and 11 days
Youngest pole sitter – Sebastian Vettel – 21 years, 2 months and 10 days