Franz Tost, the team boss at Toro Rosso, has compared Formula 1 teenager Max Verstappen to quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel and the late Stefan Bellof.
“There are many parallels,” he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “Max has a similar way of thinking, working methods and the same focus as Sebastian.”
“Actually it’s more like Stefan Bellof – this kind of disrespect without arrogance,” he explained.
Bellof was the highly rated German driver who was destined for big things in Formula 1 before his life was cut tragically short when he suffered a fatal accident during the 1985 1000 km of Spa World Sportscar Championship race.
He set the fastest lap ever on the Nordschleife configuration at the Nürburgring in 1983, driving a Porsche 956.
Bellof was the winner of the Drivers’ Championship in the 1984 World Sportscar Championship, driving for the factory Rothmans Porsche team.
For his part, rookie Verstappen plans to spend his summer break collecting some kilometres on the streets as he bids to secure his normal driving licence.
But he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he is also already looking forward to Spa-Francorchamps, which is almost a home race for the Belgian-born Dutchman.
“It’s just a shame that it will be difficult to score points. The long straights are not good for us,” said Verstappen.
Before Verstappen set off on vacation, he headed to the Imola circuit last week for a Toro Rosso ‘filming day’.
Omnicorse reports that, ahead of the FIA rule tweaks that come into effect at Spa, Verstappen practiced so-called ‘manual race starts’ in his STR10.