FIA President Jean Todt believes that Max Verstappen has similar characteristics to Kimi Raikkonen in the way they go about their racing.
Verstappen is widely seen as one of the most talented drivers to race in Formula 1 this century, drawing comparisons to how Raikkonen burst onto the F1 scene 20 years ago.
The Dutchman leads the championship heading into the final two rounds of the 2021 season, sitting eight points clear of Lewis Hamilton.
"In a way, Max is a bit like Kimi," Todt told RacingNews365.com. "He's very straightforward and very talented. They have very little interest [elsewhere] and they focus on it."
Todt's respect for Hamilton
Todt also gave his thoughts on Hamilton, having witnessed the seven-time World Champion's entire career in F1.
The Frenchman respects Hamilton's beliefs and off-track activities, likely implying the Mercedes driver's urge for equality in all areas.
"I like Lewis," said Todt. "I admire his longevity. Of course, it's easier when you're driving the best car and [racing with] the best team [for the] long-term.
"He has the passion. I think the fact that he is engaged is very good. That doesn't mean that I always have to agree with the way he's engaging, but he believes, he expresses his beliefs and I like that, I respect that.
"Sometimes I feel it could be done in a different way, but the fact that he wants to be engaged and wants to be a player in all regions in matters where he feels it does matter, I do respect that."
Does Lewis Hamilton's recent run of form against Max Verstappen now make him the favourite to claim the title? F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discuss this and more in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast!