Martin Brundle that, despite Max Verstappen’s utter dominance of the 2023 Formula 1 season, the Red Bull ace did not actually get everything right.
Verstappen caused pain to all his rivals in the manner he ruled over the 2023 F1 season, winning an unprecedented 19 races and securing his third Drivers’ Crown with races to spare.
The Dutchman was simply untouchable with his RB19, the Red Bull machine that won all but one of the races this season, Carlos Sainz denying the energy drinks outfit a clean sweep by winning in Singapore for Ferrari.
In his post Abu Dhabi Grand Prix column on Sky Sports F1, Brundle reflected on Verstappen’s season and while he hailed the triple F1 Champion’s performances, he pointed out that he was not perfect.
“Max didn’t get everything right,” Brundle wrote. “For example when the drivers walked out to the grid for the traditional end of season group photograph there were some boos as he emerged, as we’ve heard at some other tracks too.
“He had a very vocal downer on Las Vegas, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to express in that way, although he warmed up to the event on race day after yet another victory,” he added.
Why is Verstappen still perceived as the villain?
However the former F1 driver admires Verstappen’s no bullsh!t approach, he said: “I like that Max speaks his mind and I’ve always found him very refreshing to interview, and also simply to chat to in the paddock.
“He’s very direct and honest, what you see is what you get, and he clearly doesn’t care all that much what others think.
“I can’t help but feel that a little more diplomacy and balance would be more fitting to the legacy he will leave, and after all, we are all only guardians of this great sport as we pass through,” he suggested as advice to the 26-year-old.
Verstappen joined F1 in 2015, at the age of 17 and while his talent took the F1 paddock by storm, many were not impressed by his attitude and some of his on-track antics, but Brundle insists the Red Bull driver has come a long was since.
He said: “Of course, he was feisty and a little wild as a teenager when first racing in F1, but he sorted that out and is mostly a model of calm out on track now, and as fair as anybody else when it comes to hard racing.
“I don’t understand why he’s still seen as the villain, but the fans will make up their own minds,” the veteran of 158 grands prix concluded.
Verstappen, over his ten seasons in top flight, has now amassed 54 F1 race wins which puts him third in the list of all-time race winners behind Lewis Hamilton with 103 wins and Michael Schumacher who has 91 victories.