Max Verstappen has long been one of the highest-rated drivers in Formula One, though he is yet to mount a serious title challenge due to Red Bull failing to come sufficiently close to Mercedes.
In an interview this week, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he believes Verstappen is the best driver on the current F1 grid.
He explained that George Russell’s ability to almost win the Sakhir GP after jumping into the Mercedes W11 “confirmed” to him that Verstappen is better than Sir Lewis Hamilton.
“I think he is the best, yes. Russell’s performance at Mercedes confirmed that for me,” Horner said.
“Max and Lewis stand out for me, but while we absolutely should not be blind to all that Hamilton has achieved, he does have access to a good package while Max has to get more and more out of his car.
“You can see that by the fact that a driver from Williams qualified directly on the front row of the grid and almost won the race.
“If someone had to get into Max’s car, if he had coronavirus, they would never reach his level of performance,” the Red Bull team principal added.
Continuing, Horner described Verstappen’s qualifying pace as “extraordinary” and said “his race craft is excellent, along with his tyre management.”
He added that he doesn’t believe the Dutch ace has yet reached his peak and said Verstappen’s pure talent makes it very difficult for the second driver at Red Bull to stay within touching distance of him.
“It’s very difficult for the other drivers given Max’s performance. If you look at his performance in Abu Dhabi, his pole was phenomenal.”
“Max controlled the race and put in a mature performance from start to finish,” Horner concluded.