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Ayrton Senna

Verstappen forces Berger to reconsider Senna 'greatest of all-time' claim

The Austrian had previously described his former team-mate and close friend as the greatest of all time.

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Gerhard Berger ranks Max Verstappen "slightly above" Ayrton Senna after claiming the Brazilian was the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time.

Berger joined Senna at McLaren in 1990 for a three-year stint after the Alain Prost relationship broke down in 1989, and was team-mate for two of Senna's three World Championship wins.

The 10-time Grand Prix winner has previously talked about how he managed to make Senna relax with the two great friends away from the track, with Berger attending Senna's funeral in Brazil after his death in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

To Berger, Senna was the greatest driver of all-time, but he now believes Senna's fellow three-time champion Verstappen is a level above the Brazilian.

Verstappen, Berger and Senna

"I said previously that Senna is the best driver of all time, but I think Verstappen is slightly above that," Berger explained to Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.

"He has skills that I have never seen before, [but] it is necessary for the fans to have more winners.

"It is also interesting to see a perfect season, as last year. On the one hand from the team, there were no retirements due to technical problems, no delays at pit-stops.

"And on the other hand from the driver who drives to the limit and makes no mistakes."

Looking ahead to the new season, Berger ran the rule over two of his previous teams in McLaren and Ferrari and their chances of catching and overhauling Red Bull.

"McLaren is well on its way. The team radiates calm and it can be very successful this season if they can take the next step," he said of the team he spent three seasons at.

"It is possible to become a strong competitor [of Red Bull], however, I see Ferrari as the second team.

"Fred Vasseur was new to the team last year and you have to give someone time. Now a year has passed, new people have been recruited and I think the team is capable of further taking a step forward.

"Despite this, we must not forget that Red Bull is the benchmark, with Max Verstappen, Adrian Newey, Helmut Marko and Christian Horner.

"[They have] such strong management, such a strong driver. It will be difficult to overtake them. I think they will ride from the front again and lead the field."

Who is the greatest F1 driver of all-time? Is it Senna, Verstappen or someone else? Let us know in the comments and by voting in the poll below!

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