Why Sebastian Vettel is better than Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has claimed at least one victory in every season he's raced for Red Bull, having joined the team in 2018.

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Richard Bradley believes reigning World Champion Max Verstappen is yet to properly prove himself in a car not capable of winning, something Bradley admits isn’t the Dutchman’s fault.

With the exception of his stint with Toro Rosso, Verstappen has always had a car capable of winning races.

The Dutchman famously won on his maiden race for Red Bull after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took each other out, before going on to achieve a scattering of wins until 2021.

Since 2021, Verstappen has been a serial winner, due to having the best car on the grid.

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He’s remarkably claimed 25 victories in the last 34 races, dating back to the start of the new aerodynamic regulations last season.

Verstappen has won 10 alone this season, where 12 races have been completed.

The two-time World Champion is in a complete league of his own; however, Bradley wants to see what Verstappen can do in a car with absolutely no chance of winning.

He points out that Verstappen was very equal to former team-mate Carlos Sainz when the pair drove for the Faenza-based team, with neither driver gaining much of an edge.

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“For me, Max hasn’t proven himself properly in a car which doesn’t have the capability to win yet,” Bradley told the On Track GP Podcast.

“I’m not talking one which had a possibility to win, I’m talking one which really didn’t have a chance to win.

“The only time he was in a car which definitely didn’t have the chance to win, which was the Toro Rosso. He was teammates with [Carlos] Sainz, and they were very, very evenly matched throughout the whole period.

“And then he went into Red Bull and he won his first race so the car was clearly in a position to compete.

“But whereas you look at the real greats, Senna, with that 1984 [season] driving the Toleman but then winning in an uncompetitive Lotus when his teammates weren’t on the podiums, then he went into a good car. But even when the McLaren wasn’t good in ’93, he still won races in it.

“You look at Schumacher, he won the World Championship in that Benetton when his teammates were absolutely nowhere, took Ferrari and was winning races in 1996 when, again, they were nowhere.

“You look at Hakkinen, he was winning races before McLaren were in a position to win the championship. Prost has won the most races not starting in the top four of anybody in history.

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“For me, [that’s] what makes the whole package, and I don’t think Max has actually done that yet – but that’s no fault of Max’s at all.

“Going back to the [Sebastian] Vettel factor, Vettel won a race in that Toro Rosso, and was consistently in the top six.

“But Max, the problem is Red Bull have had such a good car over the years, Max has never been tested to that yet. So that’s not a discredit to Max, it’s just merely saying that we haven’t seen that happen yet.”