Sebastian Vettel has praised Max Verstappen after two years in which the Dutchman succeeded Vettel as the last Red Bull world champion.
Prior to Verstappen’s 2021 title win, Vettel had been the lone champion in Red Bull’s 15-year history, but the Dutchman has now twice added his name to the famed Drivers’ Championship trophy.
Although the drivers did not face each other when they were both in their prime, they have had plenty of experience together on the track as the 2023 season will be Verstappen’s ninth in the sport and his first without Vettel also on the track. Grid.
Now happily retired, Vettel has praised the driver who many have touted as his successor as the greatest Red Bull driver of all time.
“I can only congratulate Max,” Vettel told Austrian broadcaster ServusTV. “His performance in 2022 has been phenomenal. If you see what he does with his car, it’s clear: he has an incredible feeling with his car.
Averaging 223.5 points per season and 424.75 over the past two years, Verstappen is on course to top Vettel’s personal tally with 1,086.5 points separating the pair despite the 10 years that separate them. by age.
Vettel remarked that while he finds it easy to learn the techniques of other drivers in competition, Verstappen’s natural ability made it impossible to do with the Dutchman.
“I mean, you’re in the car yourself and we had a few duels on the track,” Vettel said of Verstappen. “You can always take something from your opponents and sometimes you think of trying it yourself, whether you think you can or it should work. But with Verstappen, I rarely had that thought.
But if there was one area where Vettel thought Verstappen was a cut above, it was passing and his lightning-fast ability to recognize an opportunity and seize it quickly.
“To be honest, there were one or two situations that crossed my mind, but I don’t know if I could do the same,” Vettel said looking back on some of Verstappen’s overtaking.
“It’s about maneuvers in certain circumstances and in certain attacks. You think about it after the fact and come to the conclusion that you can’t.
“Max has an excellent sense of attack timing. The fact that he recognizes a moment, interprets it correctly and quickly uses the situation to his advantage: it’s very impressive.
Verstappen has been equally complimentary of Vettel in the past, especially the way the four-time world champion behaves off the track.
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