Max Verstappen achieved his first pole as the 100th driver in F1 history. Will the young Dutchman soon take Lewis Hamilton’s rank? This is what the experts say:
Lewis Hamilton before the qualifying: “In some places, Honda already has more power than us.” Fittingly, Max Verstappen in Red Bull Honda secured pole at the Hungaroring – his first pole position ever.
The young Dutchman: “We caught up with both the engine and the chassis, but the Mercedes engine is still a bit ahead of us.”
Nevertheless, there is a lot of praise for Honda: “The engine has improved a lot and we can now get more out of qualifying, which showed up again today. We were able to push without running the risk of churning up the engine”
He can be optimistic about Honda’s engine. Honda will bring the next update to Monza, and Esso will provide better fuel to Sochi.
Meanwhile, Hamilton considers Verstappen more and more of his primary rival
Nico Rosberg had this to say: “For me, Verstappen is already better than Lewis,” He stressed: “That’s quite clear.”
Already on his YouTube channel after Verstappen’s victory at Hockenheim, he stated: “I would say Verstappen would be in front if he were at Mercedes. So far has had a phenomenal season, fore me, Verstappen is currently the best driver in the field.”
Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko cheered after the Hungarian qualifier and Verstappen’s long-awaited maiden pole: “It’s like salvation….finally, it has been achieved.., it was a bit of a nightmare.”
About his protégé the Austrian can say only the utmost positive: “Relative to his age, he is the fastest and most mature rider we have ever had. I don’t want to diminish Vette’s past achievements, but he was a bit older when he was so successful with us.”
At F1-insider.com we asked ourselves: Is Verstappen already better than Hamilton? Former-Team Principal Eddie Jordan (71):
“Max is a great talent and already one of the best pilots, but Lewis is 13 years older and has more experience.”
“Lewis is not only quick, but he is also trained in the arts of psychological mind-games. This experience can’t be simply compensated by such a young lad at the moment.”
Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost (63):
“Max has everything you need to become world champion, but unlike Lewis he still has to prove it, and the statistics are still in favor of Hamilton.”
Former McLaren star David Coulthard (48):
“It’s difficult to make any comparisons right now. If anything you have to compare what Lewis achieved in his fifth season. And don’t forget about Sebastian Vettel. He is still one of the superstars in the field.”
“It’s unfair to blame him for achieving his four world titles just with Red Bull. Lewis’ dominance also took place at Mercedes. One thing is clear, Max is not just the future, but already the presence of Formula 1. It would be best to see them in the same car. That would be wonderful for Formula 1 and what we all wish for.”
Former-champion Damon Hill (58):
“Hamilton is already one of the best Formula One drivers of all time. He is on a par with Schumacher, Senna and Jim Clark. He already has 80 victories on his tally, only Schumacher (91) has more. Hamilton already has the record for most pole positions. It’s a joke that these discussions arise. Lewis is not being appreciated enough.”
Verstappen himself is almost indifferent to the whole discussion and to ABMS: “I don’t even think about it. Not about Lewis, not about Sebastian or about all the other great drivers. I’m just doing my own thing. “
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.