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Lauda: Verstappen is a 'once in a century' driver

Mathias Lauda believes Max Verstappen is a rare breed of F1 driver as he spoke to RacingNews365.com at the premiere of a new film.

Mathias Lauda believes two-time Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen is a rare calibre of driver who "shows up every 100 years." Verstappen recently broke the record for most wins in a single season in F1 with his 14th victory of 2022 at the Mexican Grand Prix, having already secured a second title two races earlier in Japan. The Dutchman has enjoyed a continued run of success over the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, claiming a total of 25 wins, with only nine race not being finished in first or second. And Lauda – the son of the late three-time World Champion Niki – believes Verstappen is a rare breed of driver.

Lauda on Verstappen

"This year, Mercedes is a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari – and that's why the championship is not as exciting as last year, but I am so impressed with Max Verstappen," Lauda exclusively told RacingNews365.com at the premiere of Hunt vs Lauda: The Next Generation. "He's just a talent that will show up every 100 years, he's just so good and I don't see any weak point on him. "Normally every racing driver has a weak point, but with Max, I don't see any. "He is so cool, relaxed and can handle the pressure better than anybody else. "He's always calm and in the beginning of his career, sometimes he did make mistakes or was too aggressive, but this year, he made a massive change. "Last year he was sometimes over aggressive, but he is going to be very hard to beat in the future, and it's going to be a nightmare for all the other drivers. "In the same car, he is going to be very hard to beat, but on the other hand, you can never underestimate Lewis [Hamilton] when the car is good again."

New Hunt vs Lauda film

Lauda was speaking to RacingNews365.com at the premiere of Hunt vs Lauda: The Next Generation in London. The film, eight years in development, charts the battles of sportscar ace Mathias against the son of his father's great rival, Freddie Hunt. The documentary follows the two at as they build towards racing at Donington Park in the UK, with Freddie trying to prove to himself that he is able to beat Mathias in competition. Genesis for the film came from the 2013 Hollywood movie about the 1976 F1 season, Rush , but this is a real-life look at how the sons carry the name of their famous fathers. The methods both Mathias and Freddie employ are strikingly similar to their late fathers, with Lauda preferring a forensic, analytical approach, while Hunt goes out and wrings the neck of it. Coming to the race at Donington, the film is at its most powerful when it explores Freddie's self-doubt and coping mechanisms about his fears of not being able to beat Mathias. There are various setbacks for Freddie at Donington, but some inspiration transforms his weekend before the first race is ruined, although it was neither driver's fault. The second event also features a shocking moment, with the two sons forced to fight back through the field. Hunt vs Lauda: The Next Generation is released on November 28th, and will be available on platforms such as Amazon, iTunes and Sky.


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