Giancarlo Fisichella thinks Max Verstappen is on the same level as Michael Schumacher.
From 2000 to 2004, a period of great success for Ferrari, Schumacher won five consecutive World Championships, and a total of seven World Championships. Verstappen also won last year’s title with a record 15 race wins in 22 races.
While Schumacher still has a long way to go to achieve the records he set in his illustrious career, Verstappen is already on his way to becoming one of the best in the sport, with two World titles and 38 race wins.
Fisichella believes that Verstappen’s long contract with the now dominant Red Bull is setting him up for more success in the future.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Fisichella said: “When Schumacher won everything with Ferrari, I competed with him and I don’t think anyone was as strong as Michael in race management. He remains number one until now. But if we talk about his driving ability, Max Verstappen is on the same level.”
“I fear Max will dominate the sport for a long time if his partnership with Red Bull continues to be this strong.”
“At first he fell, he made a few mistakes due to his inexperience, but now he doesn’t make mistakes.”
“By removing his weak points he achieved incredible performance consistency. He is very strong in the wet, dry, qualifying and the race.”
“Considering what he has done and is doing at this age, he is ahead of even the old masters who came before him.”
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari with the press in the paddock
Photo: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Sports Pictures
“Only Charles Leclerc can be compared to him in that situation. In any case, a driver like Verstappen comes along every 20 years.”
Another former Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa, believes that Verstappen is currently the ‘best driver with the fastest car’ in Formula 1.
But at the same time, Massa believes that the Red Bull driver’s temper sets him apart from the rest and that, given the chance, the Dutch driver can run around the clock.
“He has a lot of words in the team: everyone follows him and is on his side,” said Massa.
“It’s hard to even imagine that gaps in the wind path could hurt their performance this year.”
“But Verstappen also has another winning element – his focus on the race without any other distractions. If he could, he would be in the simulator or on the track 24 hours a day.” say.
After five races, Verstappen leads the World Championship, 14 points ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.