"He's gotta be now": Red Bull feels Max Verstappen belongs in the category of some of the greats of F1

Abu Dhabi F1 GP Auto Racing
Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the 2023 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner feels that Max Verstappen is one of the greatest drivers to have ever graced F1. Horner's praise for the Dutchman does not stop after the 2023 F1 season, since he obliterated the entire grid and won 19 out of 22 races. He clinched his third consecutive world title as well.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Horner was initially asked about whether other drivers would be tempted to drive against Max Verstappen in the Red Bull. Answering this, Horner gave an overview of how attractive the RB19 could be for other drivers and how other teams are closing the gap massively as well.

When asked about whether Verstappen can be counted amongst F1 greats, Horner said:

"He's gotta be now. With what he has achieved in such a short period of time. You know, the statistics all speak for themselves. So, you gotta talk about him amongst some of the greats in the sport."

In 2023, Max Verstappen broke several F1 records that had been sitting without a challenge for years. He ended the season with a whopping 575 points.

F1 pundit questions hate towards Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen might be the best driver on the current F1 grid but he is not the most liked in the community.

F1 pundit and commentator Martin Brundle recently talked about the hate towards the Dutchman and was unable to understand the reaction from some fans. This was after a few fans booed him during podium celebrations in the US and Mexican GP.

In his column for Sky Sports, Martin Brundle wrote:

"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 far 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."

He added:

"Max didn't get everything right, 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."

Ever since Verstappen valiantly raced against Lewis Hamilton and clinched his first world championship in the 2021 F1 season, he has not been the most loved driver, especially due to the controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.

Furthermore, his dominance at the front of the field has made the sport boring for some. Many have voiced their concerns regarding the same on social media platforms.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar