Red Bull Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey has revealed a trait that Max Verstappen possesses that is reserved for “truly great drivers”.
Verstappen enjoyed a highly dominant campaign last year, winning 19 out of the 22 races staged en route to a third Formula 1 World Championship.
The Dutchman currently sits third in the all-time win list, surpassing fellow Red Bull-great Sebastian Vettel last season.
With Red Bull the favourite again ahead of this year's campaign, Verstappen may well edge closer to the tallies of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, as well as adding more titles to his achievements.
His 2023 campaign was largely spent at the head of the F1 field and he often won Grands Prix unchallenged by any of his rivals.
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Newey has worked with several high-profile names in the past including Alain Prost and Mika Häkkinen.
The Briton has stated that Verstappen's abilities to control his pace behind the cockpit mirror those of legendary drivers from the past.
“I think Max, like all the truly great drivers, you have the impression that he can drive the car almost subconsciously,” Newey told Autosport.
“And that then leaves him with plenty of processing power to think about what the car is doing.
“[That means] how he can modify his driving to suit the car, how he can change the set-up via the electronic tools on the steering wheel to assist him in what he’s trying to achieve at that particular point in the race and the particular deg the tyres are suffering and whatever.
“Basically, to read a race the whole way through.
“And I think that is something that he’s kind of had when he first came into Formula 1, but perhaps he’s really been able to develop to a very high level now.
“So, that kind of ability to drive the car extremely quickly, but still have constant reserve is something which Max very clearly has and I would say all the true greats that I’ve worked with have also been the same.”