Formula 1 is one of the most advanced sports in the world, with Lewis Hamilton recently putting the technology involved in F1 on a par with NASA, referring to the drivers as astronauts.
The Brit has spoken at great length about his passion for the technical side of his role at Mercedes, loving to play with his setups and even revolutionising the steering wheel with a complete technical overhaul in the early days of his career.
Guillaume Rocquelin, who runs Red Bull’s driver development academy, has suggested that current world champion Max Verstappen does not share the same passion for the technical side of F1, suggesting that natural talent has carried the Dutchman to his success.
“Max has always been a boss. He has enormous self-confidence, he knows what he wants and he is very direct,” said Rocquelin.
“But I’ll be honest – Max is weak technically compared to other drivers we’ve worked with.
“He’s a leader by his attitude, his results. But I think he can improve from a technical point of view and in the way of developing the car.”
Unsurprisingly the Frenchman has claimed that Sebastian Vettel is one of the best drivers that he has worked with, describing his as the complete driver at such a young age.
“I think Sebastian was a more complete driver than Max when he arrived with us,” he suggested.
“At the professional level, technique, meditation, he was trained at the Schumacher school, who was his idol. I think Max maybe had more natural talent, that’s what he relied on the most. But Sebastian was the most complete.”
Verstappen and Vettel have shared similar early careers, both making and early move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull’s main team, and then going on to dominate the sport at a young age.
While Vettel will be retiring at the end of this season, Verstappen, who is ten years younger than the German, will be on the hunt for his third successive world title after blowing away all the competition in 2022, with both team and driver being a class above everyone else on the grid.
If Verstappen is to replicate Vettel’s achievements he will have to win the next two titles, to recreate the German’s four-peat from 2010 to 2013, a period of dominance that eventually came to an end and saw him join Ferrari, where the grass was arguably not greener.
Only being a young driver, there is still plenty of time for Verstappen to pick up a better understanding of the technical aspects of Formula 1, which could help him later in his career.