Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has drawn parallels between newly crowned three-time World Champion Max Verstappen and the iconic Ayrton Senna. According to Marko, Verstappen’s dominance within his team is reminiscent of the challenges Senna’s teammates faced during his illustrious career. Marko goes so far as to assert that only two drivers on the current grid can contend with the Dutch phenomenon.
Verstappen’s current dominance on the track is undeniable, leaving his competitors struggling to keep up once he takes the lead. His remarkable progress in Formula 1, despite his relatively young age, has not gone unnoticed. Dr. Marko, in particular, sees a bright future ahead for Verstappen both as a person and as a driver. He remarked, “He celebrated his 26th birthday just last Saturday and has a strong personality. As a driver, he constantly surprises us with qualifying laps that you wouldn’t think possible. There are no limits to expectations, and the future looks bright.”
One aspect of Verstappen’s prowess that stands out is his consistency, which poses a significant challenge to many of his fellow drivers, especially his teammates. Names like Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon, and Sergio Perez have all grappled with the pressure of partnering with the Dutch sensation. Dr. Marko believes that only two seasoned veterans, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, are capable of going head-to-head with the reigning World Champion.
Drawing parallels to the great Ayrton Senna, Marko suggests that Verstappen shares a similar trait—being too strong for their teammates to handle. Perez’s recent performance provides a tangible example of Marko’s comparison, as the Mexican driver has struggled to mount a challenge against Verstappen since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“Senna’s teammates also all struggled; Gerhard Berger can sing a song about that,” Marko noted. “But he sought challenges. Max is a different story in his complexity. I can only think of older gentlemen like Alonso or Hamilton who could compete alongside him.”
As Max Verstappen continues to rewrite the record books and dominate the Formula 1 landscape, the comparisons to Ayrton Senna serve as a testament to his exceptional talent and the challenges he presents to anyone who shares a team with him. The question now is whether anyone can step up to challenge this modern-day racing legend.