Nico Rosberg presents five reasons Verstappen is the best in F1

Mercedes' 2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has labelled Max Verstappen "the best driver out there" and outlined five reasons supporting that claim ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg presents five reasons Verstappen is the best in F1

Red Bull driver Verstappen claimed his first pole in F1 at his 93rd attempt after beating Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in qualifying at the Hungaroring.

Rosberg has joined Verstappen's team boss Christian Horner in declaring the 21-year-old to be even better than five-time world champion and points leader Hamilton on current form.

"At the moment Max Verstappen is the best F1 driver out there," Rosberg said in a post-qualifying analysis video on his YouTube channel.

"Even slightly better than Lewis Hamilton, just recently overtaking him. He's been doing an unbelievable job."

Rosberg, who spent four seasons alongside Hamilton at Mercedes and beat the Briton to the 2016 title, said Verstappen's pole was down to an "epic piece of driving".

He believes Mercedes had the fastest car in qualifying but Verstappen produced two amazing laps, and Rosberg used the result to outline five reasons why Verstappen is currently the best driver on the F1 grid.

"The first point: natural talent," said Rosberg. "Unbelievable natural talent. On a line with Senna, Hamilton - one of the absolute one-in-10-years natural talents."

Rosberg also highlighted Verstappen's confidence and said he has a "narcissistic touch", but not in a negative way.

"All the greatest drivers had that," said Rosberg. "Schumacher had it, Senna had it. "They all had that steely self-confidence, which I unfortunately didn't have to that extent. I think he's got that in bucket loads."


Rosberg said Verstappen's response to the scrutiny he faced after high-profile errors early in 2018 was an example of this self-belief.

"It gives you this resilience," Rosberg added. "There's so much pressure, so much going on, so many opinions and politics, and if you have that steely self-confidence it keeps you protected from that and keeps you focused - keeps your head clear."

Rosberg's third point was how well-suited the 2019 Red Bull is to Verstappen.

"The car matches him really well," said Rosberg. "They've engineered a car that fits perfectly to his driving.

"If you don't agree with that, take a look at today's qualifying lap: it's on absolute rails, it's unbelievable. That's a perfect match there."

Verstappen made his F1 debut as an 18-year-old in 2015, and despite only being 21 has the joint-eighth highest number of grand prix starts (92) of the current crop of drivers.

Rosberg believes that combination of youth and experience gives Verstappen "a combination that the sport has never seen".

He thinks that is why Verstappen is able to challenge Hamilton, who Rosberg said is "certainly already on a little bit of a decline in his natural human abilities" despite still being an "unbelievable weapon".

"The best age for racing drivers is 30, 31, 32 - and that's because your ability as you're getting older slightly decreases, but experience counts so much in this sport," said Rosberg.

"So experience will outdo the small decrease in your natural ability as a human as you get a bit older.

"But with Max, he has the absolute youth - bullet-speed reactions in his mind, absolute peak human body reaction times - and he also has the experience, because he's one of the most experienced drivers out there by now with four years under his belt.

"That makes for an unbelievably powerful combination."

Rosberg's final point was to hail Verstappen's dedication.

"We see that in his fitness, in his gaming - keeping his reactions going - go-karting, working with the engineers," said Rosberg. "It's really powerful commitment."

shares
comments
Analysis: The Mercedes start split that could be crucial in Hungary

Previous article

Analysis: The Mercedes start split that could be crucial in Hungary

Next article

Why a German GP exclusion could have been better for Alfa Romeo

Why a German GP exclusion could have been better for Alfa Romeo
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021