Guenther Steiner hails ‘master’ Max Verstappen, pinpoints Charles Leclerc’s weakness

Max Verstappen claimed the record for the most wins and most points scored in a single season in 2022.

There is no doubt in the mind of Haas team principal Guenther Steiner that Formula 1 is in the midst of a Max Verstappen era, with the Dutchman having been superior over the entire field this season.

Whilst 2021 was a gruelling season-long battle against Lewis Hamilton, 2022 has been the complete opposite for Verstappen.

It’s been known since the French Grand Prix that the 25-year-old was going to claim a second World Drivers’ Championship, after Charles Leclerc buckled under the pressure and crashed whilst leading at Paul Ricard.

He officially sealed his second title at the Japanese Grand Prix, a weekend where Red Bull were celebrating somewhat of a return for Japanese manufacturer Honda.

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Red Bull alone have claimed victory at the last nine races, with Verstappen having won eight of them.

His win at last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix was actually his 14th of the season, meaning the Dutchman eclipsed Michael Schumacher’s and Sebastian Vettel’s joint record for most wins in a single campaign.

Staggeringly, Verstappen could push the new record to 16 wins, with races at Brazil and Abu Dhabi to be completed in 2022.

He’s also claimed the record for most points scored in a season, further highlighting his sheer dominance.

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Steiner hailed Verstappen as a “master”, who undoubtedly has the “talent” to be compared to Schumacher.

“Every era has its champion. In this era it’s just Max,” Steiner said.

“When Michael [Schumacher] was there, it was Michael.

“We are right in the middle of that era now,” he continued.

“He’s got the talent, the drive, he’s just a master at the moment.

“To be champion, you need that little bit extra. A certain coolness, a certain extra bit of luck too.

“Max is just riding a wave at the moment and he doesn’t want to get off it.”

The title has been much easier for Verstappen to seal than he presumably would’ve expected, with Leclerc having made costly errors at vital times.

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As well as crashing at Paul Ricard, he span out of third place at Imola early in the year, with Steiner believing that the Monegasque driver is currently making “too many” errors to be champion.

“I think Charles Leclerc’s driving skills are very good at the moment,” added the Italian.

“But sometimes he still makes mistakes – a little too many mistakes. And Max just doesn’t make them anywhere.”