Damon Hill and Tom Clarkson have put Max Verstappen’s performance under a magnifying glass. In particular, the mentality and race pace of the Red Bull Racing driver stand head and shoulders above the rest. According to both men, no one has the same hunger for success as Verstappen. That goes hand in hand with an extremely fast driver and that should instill a lot of fear in the competition.
There is currently no measure on Verstappen, who seems to be able to win every race this season. The person has one crucial part that other drivers don’t have. “The hunger for success is a very important part,” Hill says on the F1 Nation podcast. “His mentality, like Senna and Schumacher, is crucial. There’s a certain ruthlessness to it that some people can’t identify with. It is called selfishness, which is very unattractive in normal life, but in this sport this mentality is very good because you always want to win.’
“He doesn’t just want to win, he wants to crush the competition,” Clarkson adds. The presenter of the podcast cites a dissatisfied Verstappen after his catch-up race in Saudi Arabia. A catch-up race like that of Sergio Pérez in Melbourne would not satisfy the two-time world champion either. “A lot of people would think that’s a good weekend, but he’s not here to finish fifth. His mentality is so unique. Of course Lewis Hamilton is very talented, the same goes for Charles Leclerc, but I don’t see Max’s ruthlessness in anyone else. As long as Red Bull stays competitive, Verstappen will win and he will never get bored of it.’
“How much better can Verstappen get?”
Clarkson wonders where the Dutch driver comes in the list of most talented drivers. “Is he the fastest driver over one lap? Maybe not.’ Nevertheless, the journalist sees that Verstappen is always superior on Sunday. Who is the fastest over an entire race distance? I think there is no one better than Verstappen. He’s like a metronome, round after round. Then he is also relentless when overtaking. It’s so impressive. In that he is very similar to Fernando Alonso. The question now is: how much better can Verstappen get? It’s quite frightening to think how good Verstappen can become,” said Clarkson.