FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Former F1 driver fears Verstappen dominance, likening him to Schumacher

Red Bull Racing have won 95.32% of all points available to them in the first five races with Max Verstappen taking three race wins, one more than Sergio Perez's two grands prix victories

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Former F1 driver, Giancarlo Fisichella has revealed that he fears the dominance of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, likening him to Michael Schumacher. 

Miami Verstappen Perez Fisichella Red Bull Schumacher
Race winner Max Verstappen and Second placed Sergio Perez celebrate in parc ferme after the F1 Grand Prix of Miami. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Coming into 2023, Max Verstappen was a two-time world champion. He won two consecutive titles and many thought that 2023 would be the year when Mercedes, and Ferrari, brought the fight to Red Bull.

However, that has not been the case. Red Bull have dominated the opening five rounds of the season, taking victory in every race and all but one pole position. Currently, Red Bull are on 224 points in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of Aston Martin. Verstappen, who won in Miami from starting P9, leads the Driver Standings by 14 points to his teammate, Sergio Perez.

With Verstappen dominating the season, the former Ferrari driver, Giancarlo Fisichella, has spoken on the Dutchman’s performance.

Fisichella’s fear of Verstappen dominance

Max Verstappen is now regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers in history. He battled Lewis Hamilton in 2021, he swiftly took the championship in Suzuka in 2022 and he is absolutely dominating the field in 2023.

Whilst only having two World Championships to his name, Fisichella has likened Verstappen to Michael Schumacher. In his F1 career, Schumacher achieved five consecutive World Championships from 2000 to 2004, after winning the 1994 and 1995 seasons as well.

Fisichella, who raced in F1 himself for Ferrari, has compared the Dutchman to the German. Currently, Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull to race for the Milton Keynes outfit until 2028 – another six seasons.

With his current dominance and the pace of the Red Bull car, Fisichella believes that the rest of the field will struggle knowing the fight that they’re up against. He feels that Verstappen’s dominance will echo that of Schumacher’s when he raced at Ferrari.

Fisichella, talking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, said:

“I fear that Max is destined to dominate for a long time, if the union with Red Bull remains so strong.”

Red Bull are the fastest car on track this year, particularly with DRS down the straights, despite having less development time than other teams.

But Fisichella thinks that as long as Red Bull continue on the trajectory they are at with Verstappen, they will continue to dominate.

Schumacher vs Verstappen

Comparing Verstappen to Schumacher, Fisichella said:

“I raced against Schumacher, when he won everything with Ferrari. I think there was no one as strong as Michael in race management. He remains number one to this day.

“But if we talk about driving talent, Max Verstappen is on the same level.”

Earlier in his Formula 1 career, Verstappen did make a few mistakes and “was crashing” a fair amount. Fisichella put this down to Verstappen’s “inexperience”, but has noted that recently, Verstappen “hardly ever makes mistakes.”

The former F1 driver continued pointing out the strengths of Verstappen. Fisichella said Verstappen “has acquired an incredible consistency of performance, eliminating weak points. He is strong in the wet, in the dry, on the dry lap in qualifying and in the race. He is complete.

“If we talk about precocity, considering what he has done and is doing at his age, he is even ahead of the greats of the past who preceded him.

“Only Charles Leclerc can be compared to him in this respect. And in any case, a driver like Verstappen is born once every 20 years.”

The 2023 season consists of 23 races with six Sprints. So far, Red Bull have made it a five out of five winning streak, with Perez taking the Sprint Race win in Baku.

Next up is Imola, where teams like Mercedes will be bringing upgrades. With Verstappen’s dominance so far, will it be an easy ride to winning the championship? Or will he face competition?

Headline Image: GettyImages

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top