Ross Brawn says Max Verstappen is blossoming into a driver that reminds him of the great Michael Schumacher following his cool victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, the ninth of his F1 career.

In stark contrast, Sebastian Vettel – the man considered as the spiritual successor to Schumacher – saw an already dismal season hit a new low en route to 12th, with Brawn saying Ferrari needs to take action now to help him rediscover his form.

While the disparity in performance between Mercedes and Red Bull has been wider than perhaps initially anticipated, Verstappen has nonetheless broken the title-winning team’s deadlock three times in five races now with second place finishes in Styria and Hungary, followed by his win at Silverstone.

 

 

Consolidating his arguable status as Lewis Hamilton’s closest rival in terms of raw like-for-like pace, the Dutchman’s against the odds win at Silverstone earned praise from F1 Managing Director Brawn in his latest blog on F1.com

“Max was simply sensational at Silverstone. He reminds me of Michael Schumacher in many ways. When you listen to his radio, he’s clearly got spare capacity.

“The limit of the car is not the limit of Max Verstappen. He is able to feel the subtlety of the car and respond perfectly. I remember Max’s early days in Formula 1 where his speed was clear – he has now matured in to an exceptional racing driver.”

Raising a few smiles in the paddock by once again jokingly asking his engineer to take on plenty of water so he doesn’t dehydrate in the sweltering conditions, Brawn says Verstappen’s relaxed attitude is a reflection of his mature driving.

“I loved his radio, particularly when he said he didn’t want to “drive like a grandma” when the team asked him to manage his tyres. It shows huge confidence and a relationship in the team, which is very strong.”

Though they have shared the same piece of track on numerous occasions over the years, Verstappen and Vettel could hardly be further part at the moment as the latter’s torrid campaign slumped again on Sunday.

Finishing outside the points after a spin, Vettel hasn’t shown notable form in any of the six races so far this year, his points finishes limited to a sixth and a pair of tenths.

As the former technical director of Ferrari, Brawn suggests the Scuderia needs to divert more of its attention to Vettel specifically to help him progress beyond what is the worst lull of his career.

“It was another difficult weekend for Sebastian. When I met these situations in my career, I’d sit down with the driver one-to-one and understand what the issues are.

“Then you look at bringing people into the discussion, engineers, etc, that are going to be helpful to improve things. It’s going to be a measure of Sebastian and the team how they deal with the rest of the season.

“They clearly have a very frustrated driver, and they need to find ways of keeping it together for the rest of the year for the interests of both of them. They need to try to turn a lose-lose into a win-win.”

 

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