Brundle: Verstappen reminds me of a young Schumacher
Martin Brundle has compared Max Verstappen to the great Michael Schumacher after the young Dutchman completed his first season in Formula One.
Verstappen out-performed his Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz during 2015 by finishing in the points 10 times across the 19 races, earning him 49 points – 31 more than Sainz.
Former F1 driver Brundle has been impressed with the 18-year-old’s displays throughout the year, and has seen glimpses of seven-time world champion Schumacher in Verstappen’s progress.
“What has impressed me about Max is his confidence,” Brundle said at the Autosport Awards. “He has had a few crashes and some difficult times and somehow he has just rebounded from that.
“It has reminded me of Michael Schumacher crashing Nelson Piquet’s spare Benetton at Suzuka [in 1991]. I thought, ‘okay, now we will see how good Michael is’.
“Piquet was livid that he had crashed his car and the next lap through 130R, Schumacher was flat out. He was even faster that lap in his own car.
“It is that confidence, self-belief and sheer speed – that is what I see in this young man and many others on track.”
And Brundle believes Verstappen can go on to emulate Schumacher as a future world champion should he continue to build on his F1 debut.
He added: “The feel he has got with the car and the brake pedal – you see his overtaking moves and you think, I wish I had that on my CV. And he is just a teenager!
“I’ve said he will be in a world championship winning car by the time he is 20, but I think I may have to revise that a little bit.
“I am sure there are a lot of top teams chasing his autograph on a contract.”