Max Verstappen has responded to a claim made by former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel's naming of him in the same category as F1's great champions.
Verstappen is on the verge of sealing his third F1 title and can wrap up the achievement at the upcoming round in Qatar, with the championship able to be clinched during Saturday's Sprint.
The 25-year-old has won 13 of the 16 races staged this season, breaking Vettel’s record for the most consecutive wins in F1 history with 10 in a row between Miami and Italy before the run ended in Singapore.
Vettel is no stranger to dominant periods with Red Bull having secured four consecutive championships between 2010 and 2013 and speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, the German placed Verstappen in the same echelon as names such as Michael Schumacher, who prior to Lewis Hamilton was statistically the most successful driver in F1 history.
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When asked if he was a fan of Schumacher and whether he had taken direction from his success, Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.com: “I was never really a fan of anyone.
“I appreciated everyone's success. From my side, I was like ‘I want to be there one day, I want to stand on the podium or win races’.
“But I think everyone's different, everyone has a different way [of] how you get to Formula 1 anyway - a different upbringing.
“So there are a lot of factors that come into play and that's the beautiful thing about Formula 1, everyone is different because if everyone would be exactly the same I think it’s quite boring.
“Of course the success of some of the greats, I mean that's amazing. You might get a little bit of inspiration from it but I wouldn't necessarily want to try and do it the same way if you know what I mean.
“Anyway, the world is changing every time right? Every different era so you also have to take that into account.”