Max V finally eases Seb V over the F1 hill


Sebastian Vettel may well be reflecting today that his time at the top of global motorsport has well and truly ended. Martin Brundle appears to believe so because following Max Verstappen’s brilliant drive through the wet at the 2016 Brazilian GP, he suggested Vettel may now be over the top of F1’s hill.

The SKY F1 pundit and ex-British F1 driver described Verstappen’s overtake on Vettel as a  ‘changing of the guard’, though the on track move by the young Dutch kid was for many just the final nail in Seb’s reputation as ‘one of the best’.

Sebastian Vettel has spent most of 2016 complaining to Charlie Whiting, the media and the public over team radio about Max Verstappen and his driving abilities. So yesterday the irony was lost on noone as Max V flew past the German ex-champ with consummate ease in the closing stages of the Sao Paulo race. It was almost a metaphorical two fingered salute to the one once uber victorious champ known for years as ‘finger boy’.

Of course, one on track move does not create greatness and neither does it relegate a four times champion to the ‘also ran’ brigade. Yet in the moment identified by Brundle, Vettel once again demonstrated why his behaviour has become irksome to many. He complained over the radio that in fact his nose was ahead, implying Max should be forced to give the place back. Fernando Alosno makes the case that Vettel is once again being hypocritical following a dubious move Sebastian pulled on him.  “One day we’ll have to drive into him so he realises that the track belongs to everybody,” commented the Spaniard after the race.

All this sits against the backdrop of Vettel leading the established F1 drivers in a season long Max Verstappen witch-hunt. The irony of which was never plainer than during the Mexican GP when the German was penalised by the stewards under a new regulation Sebastian had called for – designed to prevent his persistent complaints that Verstappen was ‘moving under braking’.

Ferrari were embarrassing this weekend with their continued efforts to appeal the Mexican GP stewards decision on Vettel from two weeks ago, but this just made it plain to all there was more Sebastian self-righteous indignation playing out behind the scenes in Maranello.

Yet the seeds of Vettel’s demise were sown many moons ago. Following four years of dominating F1 when cars were aften designed to be driven counter intuitively because aerodynamics dominated the sport, Vettel found himself with a new team mate in 2014. And it came to pass that a certain young Aussie proceeded to give the German a lesson in driving.

That year Ricciardo out qualified Seb 12-7 and where both of them reached the chequered flag the Aussie finished ahead of his team mate 11 races to 3. This was a humiliation of the highest order, though Vettel’s response was to criticise and bemoan the direction F1 had taken by moving away from an aerodynamic dominated series to one where traditional automotive engineering ie the engine, now stood centre stage.

That season was dominated by Mercedes, though mostly due to Red Bull’s new boy Ricciardo, the Milton Keynes team grabbed second ahead of Williams in the constructors’ championship. Ferrari trailed home fourth.

Clearly, another year of this kind of Ricciardo ‘beasting’ would have seen Sebastian Vettel consigned to the ‘has been’ heap of F1 drivers and so the German fled tout suite to Ferrari for 2015. At that time Maranello was itself concluding a civil war that had seen the ousting of their decades long chairman and 3 team principals in just two years. The Tifosi’s were now ready to raise their hopes at the spectre of a ‘baby Schumy’ arriving to their rescue; another German driver who would lead the Italian F1 marque from the racing doldrums.

And for a while, all seemed good. Ferrari won races, Vettel beat his lack lustre Finnish team mate and the Red Team clinched second in the 2015 constructors’ title. Sebastian’s old team were third, though to be fair Red Bull Racing spent most of their 2015 efforts fighting their own year long civil war with engine partner Renault.

Sergio Marchionne raised Ferrari expectations beyond the rafters for 2016 and even after failing to win a race by May this year, the Italian company president claimed at the launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, “The drivers’ title? I think we deserve it. Not because we are smarter, but simply as a reflection of the work we did in 2015”.

This and other such declarations form the great industrial business guru have proven to be as delusional as Vettel’s analysis of Max Verstappen’s driving capabilities. Yesterday Ferrari were consigned to third place this year and Sebastian Vettel was again crushed by a young pretender.

And so to next year where Formula One change is in the air due to new regulations. Bigger tyres and more downforce regulations have seen the Milton Keynes Master of Aerodynamics rubbing his hands in glee, as the RB13 is now receiving its finishing touches.

Surely, a year which sees Sebastian Vettel’s two nemeses – Danny Ric and Max V for Victory Verstappen – pounding the German into on track submission AGAIN will be too much for Seb to bear. Will he then do a Michael or a Kimi? – disappear into ‘temporary’ retirement. After all there’s no room at any inn for Sebastian, where he’ll be given an F1 car that can win consistently.

The problem for Seb is when Michael and Kimi first left Formula One, there was no Max Verstappen waiting in the wings to dominate the sport – maybe like never before. And the BIG question for us the fans is??? How long will it be before Verstappen develops his own ‘finger salute’?


V for Verstappen?

63 responses to “Max V finally eases Seb V over the F1 hill

  1. Max has great skill and yes, he overtook a lot of drivers including Vettel. However, Let’s be fair. Sebastian has had a terrible season in terms of circumstances. Max is a potential great driver as he is yet to have the accomplishments. Vettel has come from behind twice not in a race, but in a World Driver’s Championship, to win. That requires sharpness in driving and mental toughness. The world recognizes Max Verstappen but still there are worlds apart in accomplishments. There is a lot to do from Max to fill the shoes of Sebastian Vettel.

    • Everytime I read this, I am smiling en remember this move on Vettel and the whining afterwards of a former world-champion. You must be kidding here ……….

    • You talk about “accomplishments”, but that is all in the past. Just because somebody used to win races and once was a world champion, does not mean he is still one of the best. Vettel is good, but Kimi regularly proves he is equal if not better. If I were Ferrari and had to fire one of the drivers, I’d stick with Kimi and oust Vettel.

  2. When was the last race that Seb did not have contact? His overtaking and defending is pretty poor and he had several brainfarts lately.

    • Ain’t that the truth Bruznic.

      I’d also advise caution when taking Brundle’s OPINION in regards driver abilities etc.

      It wasn’t many years ago that he was angering neutrals by claiming Seb was the greatest of all time because he dominated races in a Newey design.

      Max is undoubtedly a star but when you have idiots in the sport comparing him to Senna – Monaco 84 or Schumi Spain 96 then you know they’re blowing smoke up people arse!!!

      He overtook a lot of cars which were running worn and, probably, cold rubber whilst he had the obvious advantage of newer rubber which would have just come out of a tyre blanket

      Yes a great drive from the arrogant youngster but not sensational as the drama starved media would like the seasoned fans to believe.

      We’ve seen better

      • “Yes a great drive from the arrogant youngster but not sensational as the drama starved media would like the seasoned fans to believe.|

        I guess you haven’t seen the pit crews from various teams clapping their hands because of the drive that young Max displayed? But hell, what do those people know about great formula one drives anyway?

          • Laura is a pretty common dutch name, which a mobile devices tend to autocorrect to.

            I do think it is a bit cheep that some fall into a spelling bee contest instead off replying on substance.

          • @sirhenry…. irrespective of what language you would task me to use, I would still spell Niki Lauda as every book, magazine and TV production has done since he stepped aboard a race car.

      • Rain tires out of tire blanket keep their heat in the rain until the end of pitlane compared to tires that have been ran for +10 laps at race speed. If Max managed to keep that blanket heat in them while others could not get or keep heat in theirs, than that is magic on itself. Ye gods.

      • Apparently your idea about tyres isn’t correct and far from reality.

        And why the addition “arrogant youngster”? He’s a challenger, aware of his capacity and not bothered by tradition. Did you see how he gathered intel behind the safety car? If there was one driver testing all possible positions of the track (inside and outside of every corner, comparing breaking and accelerating on the straights with other car in front of him) where others just concentrated on keeping both tyres and brakes on temperature it was Max. Who was the one driving other lines instead of staying on race line all the time? That person was Max. That is what I mean with not being bothered by tradition.
        I’m happy with his entrance in formula 1. He’s shaking the tree and that is what this sport desperately needed.

      • First off all he isn’t arrogant he just has a lot of confidence in himself, his last stint wasn’t on NEW tires but on USED rain tires (check the Pirelli data). Driving from 16th on the grid to 3rd in 23 minutes overtaking 13 cars is pretty impressive. I haven’t seen better!!

      • Your story about the tyres isn’t correct at all. Pirelli have stated that MV didn’t have a noticeble advantage because of the fresher tyres. For details please check

        I’m not sure how to interpret your remark about “the arrogant youngster”. If you’re referring to negative interpretation I guess you’re 100% wrong. If there is arrogance on the grid I expect LH is the one to look at. If you’re referring to a more constructive interpretation I will have to agree with you. Arrogance in the way of knowing what his skills are. The challenger. Not settling for tradition.
        Have you noticed his approach of the race behind the safetycar? All other drivers where just trying to keep temperature in brakes and tyres. No other driver was checking grip on every possible position of the track. Driving the race line, trying the wider lines. Comparing acceleration and breaking with the car in front of him. At some times I thought he was pretty damn close to KR and to NR but it was with a purpose. So yeah, if that is arrogance I will have to second you with that.

        But given the conditions a small mistake could have been made by everyone and in Max’ case he was a bit lucky the wall wasn’t 2 meters closer.

      • This is what Gerhard berger said in an interview:

        Yes, when I see Max, Senna comes to my mind,” Berger admitted. “This is the first time I say something like this, because I was really close to Ayrton and I think he was the greatest.”

        “In his personality, his driving, his results, his preparation. He was different to everyone,” added the former McLaren and Ferrari driver. “I’ve always respected that and so I avoided comparisons, but with Max it’s hard not to,” he said.”

        And then he continues:

        It was awesome,” he said. “He was always trying new lines, even behind the safety car he was studying the circuit. Engineers from other teams were even telling their drivers to imitate him.”

        “He knew exactly what to do, and it’s amazing at his age. He sought and found impossible lines, making the others look like schoolboys. His control of the car, as he saw in the incident on the straight was crazy,” he added.

        As for claims the Red Bull driver is too arrogant, Berger insisted:

        “Someone like him can afford it.”

        • It appears Max is a more rounded/level individual than Senna too. Senna may share more in common with Lewis in the bi-polar/emo stakes.

          Super happy this weekend…… now super mad and angry today…

      • “We’ve seen better”
        Whom, when and where please.
        Please, share your insights with the rest of the world.
        p.s. direct references to the insightful moments will be highly appreciated.

        • I’m not sure on your ability to read but there’s just such an example with a link 4 posts up..^ that way. Alonso’s first lap in Hungary 06. In the lead by lap 18 from 15th on grid…

          I could of course mention Jackie Stewart at Nurburgring in 1968, Jacky Ickx, Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton but why should I furnish you with races if you are such a non DUMMY??

          Look, some perspective. Max is a talent and this was a great performance but circumstances fell into place.

          The fact he was driving a car that most observers felt would trouble Mercedes if the weather was poor suggests the Red Bull’s down force is greater than most of the cars he passed.

          I do not doubt he’ll win a wet race at some stage that elevates him into the pantheon but he finished 3rd.

          Another great wet weather performance comes to mind which may surprise.
          1988 British GP.
          Senna won as usual.

          2nd was Mansell, racing through terrible rain and pulling off some amazing passes. This in a car that qualified 11th and with an active suspension that was changed overnight after having been run all year. So unknown quantity.

          But hey what do I know, Mansell was never fashionable, yet Senna respected the warrior

    • Lol. It was suggested this weekend, that Seb has been ‘Alonsofied’ by his experience at Ferrari… And he has moaned about something like hell pretty much every F1 weekend I can remember this season.

    • Yes, agree. Also notice how vettel leaves Max no road (by 1st attempt overtaking) and Verstappen lifts to avoid going off track.. Something vettel should have done two corners later.

      • Good point. Max knew he was beaten at turn 4 and so backed out of it, Vettel stubbornly refused to accept this later in the lap – despite later admitting Max was travelling more quickly than him at the time. So whose driving style requires modification?

  3. There’s also that sneaking suspicion that Seb might have been dogging it to break his contract per performance specifications and go to Ferrari. Schumi went with a key coterie of team members, and Seb went all by himself, and Ferrari, being Ferrari, returned to its bad old self that couldn’t win races.

    • It’s easy to say Ferrari being Ferrari and insinuate a course of action which is typical.

      A few years back Mclaren were “the greatest in season developers the sport has ever seen” and yet 2013-16 has been the bleakest period in their history.

      I believe that whatever problems Ferrari has were not helped by the recruitment of Allison. He may have been part of title winning teams between 2000 and 2006 but he was never the leader, just a cog under Brawn/ Byrne and Bob Bell

      Let’s forget the 2014 car, he arrived too late, but Mattiacci had already identified the engine as the weakest point. The engine was a marked improvement in 15 – as evidenced by Sauber in testing – and allied to Allison’s first design Ferrari were competitive.

      Then into 2016, the evolution failed to progress. And this was before the sad death of his wife. There are no excuses and I think you’ll find Marchionne realised this very early on. I believe that inevitably he would have been on his way out irrespective of personal circumstances.

      Why? Brawn is still a respected man in Maranello and he stated that to be a TD you have to dedicate to the task 24/7 – something that Allison wouldn’t, travelling to Italy for 3 1/2 days a week.

      As tifosi we welcome anyone who’ll bring Ferrari back but if you looked at Allison’s record at Lotus you hoped it was funding that restricted continued success and not a lack of design talent.

      If anyone has a hot-line to Sergio – can they please leave the name ‘Bob Fearnley’ on his desk.

  4. For Seb to emulate his german idol, 2, or more, people should also be going red: AN and CH! And, it could also be not enough!
    For me, MV is outstanding and the future of F1 is in good hands (Sainz, Ocon, Vandoorne, etc.) but, like Mark W once said: “You underestimate Seb and Fernando at your own peril!” cause they are not “dead” yet!


  5. +1 for Seb chucking it it. His star is fading rapidly – it’s hard to be impressed by the strength of someone’s grip on the wrong end of the stick.

    Prediction #2. Ricciardo to escape RB to Ferrari before Max’s RB options expire. Probably not much more success for Dan at the red team but a massive paycheck, bonkers fans and bodacious company cars for the rest of his life.

    Prediction #3. In 2017, Mercedes will be busted with a hidden tank of dephlogistication fluid fitted to their cars. All their WCCs and WDCs will be voided. Ross Brawn will be revealed as both a Master Alchemist and the Secret Chief directing the activities of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Just sayin’…

  6. I have also wondered if Vettel has simply burnt out already. He has been the leading driver of his teams for nearly a decade and sooner or later it takes its toll. Max has simply arrived in time to become a perfect culprit.

    Or maybe Ferrari is such a mess not even Vettel is imune to it.

    Maybe Mercedes and Ferrari should do a straight swap for their german drivers.

  7. Statistically Riccardo holds a large edge on Verstappen from Spain. One race doesn’t make a career. I’ve seen lots of drivers have remarkable days – Bellof, Nanini to name a couple who never became anything. Verstappen clearly has talent. But to compare him to Senna or Schumacher at this point is nonsense. As is writing off Vettel.

    • I think Vettel Has a problem now. So he needs to rebounce over the winter and hope that somehow Ferrari makes a good car.

      But if that doesn’t happen, he needs some grace. Another season of radio whining won’t help his status. And he Has a tricky teammate. Everybody Has written off Kimi – so if he beats Seb, it only affects Seb’s status.

      I wasn’t following F1 when Schumi or Senna entered. But I read that a lot of journo’s other than Eddie Jordan see similarities in the way Max enters his career.

        • A rebounce is a basketball term where one team brakes the attack of the other and takes the initiative to score.

          Nothing Dutch about that prancing horse…

        • Bounce back is more like it but every English person gets the gist of what you are trying to say. Rebound is indeed a basketbal expression. I would like to say: you heard the clock banging but you don;t know where the klepel is hanging. (pun intended)

      • Eddie Jordan gave Schumacher his first test at Silverstone and his first race at Spa in 1991.

        If anyone has a right to an opinion between MSC and VES then it has to be the Irishman.

        Whatever clowning behaviour he displays now, he owned the team. The journos only wrote stories.

        From memory, there was no journalist present at Silverstone when Jordan ran a car for Michael before debuting at Spa

        • Everybody has a right to an opinion between MSC and VES … even you.

          Would love to hear your opinion on the 2007 Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG. Out of this world if you ask me.

          • May I say that whilst one can say that everyone has the right to an opinion, there is no concomitant right to have that opinion taken seriously.

            If you’re insufficiently expert, haven’t done the homework, are selective with your facts or are just straight out laying down BS then expect to be summarily dismissed with no recourse.

            As for the vinegar you offered up for opinion – meh! Get some ’67 Chateau de Chassilier – very passable…

          • Although unsolicited, always value your opinion … RogerD. As far as your vinegar substitute, believe 1968 was a better year. Or should I ask Obediah?

    • Are you seriously comparing Verstappen to Bellof or Nanini?? Bellof died in his second year of F1 and managed to pull of one great drive in Monaco and who is Nanini .. i only know a F1 driver named Nannini and he was a mediocre driver who was a number 2 driver who never raced for a top team as such.

  8. I think Vettel’s under massive pressure at Ferrari, causing him to lose the plot when things don’t go his way, but also stopping him from critizing the car. Some of his issues this season have not been his fault, some have, but he needs to get to grips with his reaction to things. He is a whining bitch at the moment. At Brazil he had that same tone to his voice when he was demanding the race be stopped. I’m sure Ferrari would have wanted him to seem eager to get at least some points for Ferrari. If he doesn’t have a better season next year, Ferrari will have to think of keeping Kimi and letting Seb go
    As for Verstappen, he is great to watch, good for the sport so I think the media is pushing him a bit, but he has talent. F1 is a sport where there’s not much news, so the media has to do as much as they can to get people tuned in between races. He is fun to watch, as much fun as Vettel’s attitude meltdowns.

  9. People used to ask how good Seb was when he kept driving into cars pre world championships, proof now I think that 4 championships really belong to Adrian Newey,

    • Funny that out of all the Newey cars that have won titles, only Hakkinen is treated with respect. Everybody else only won because of Newey.

      Personally I think Renault and their software and engine mapping won the 4 titles

      • yes, and in a similar way, the advantage that the Merc has over the other cars is winning the championships for them. The driver’s talent is always optional for credit to winning a championship, but the car isn’t. I personally feel Vettel won his championships fair and square, just like Lewis and hopefully Rosberg too. They all deserved to win the way they drove those fastest cars of theirs

    • People used to laugh at alonso for not being able to pass a certain Russian driver in a lotus in a race which could give him his 3rd championships. Articles like this one have been written back then, about Fred. About his moaning. About loosing his mojo. Yet now he is still regarded by many (including me) as one of the best. If Vettel can turn the heat up next year these articles will be long forgotten for some, and remember by even less. Think about that. 😃

  10. Who writes this garbage? If Vettel had a decent car he’d still be fighting for pole and the podium on race weekdays.
    As for Martin Brunel, how many world champions did he win?
    So what makes him think he has the qualifications to even comment on a FOUR TIME WORLD CHAMPION.
    If he had been a half decent driver he would have made enough money to not have to be a pundit and make catty comments about drivers more superior than he could ever hope to be.

    • I guess that Brundle started (and finished) more F1 races than you’ve ever did. I guess you’re not allowed to comment on Brundle, do you? Everybody is entitled to have an opinion and when asked for he/she may share it with others. So is Brundle. Needless to say he isn’t holy nor is his opinion.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.