DECEMBER 2, 2016
Montoya sides with Verstappen amid criticism
As the long 2016 season finally ends, Max Verstappen continues to divide opinion.
Amid comparisons with greats like Senna and Schumacher, some criticise the young Dutchman for what they think is an overly aggressive driving style.
"He is a boy full of talent," said 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, "but he needs a little guidance.
"Too often he throws great results out of the window, and F1 is about results," the Finn told France's Auto Hebdo after rushing to Abu Dhabi to see his son Nico celebrate the 2016 title.
Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, however, thinks the criticism of Verstappen is not fair.
"The way Verstappen's been treated, I got treated like that a lot," said the Colombian, who drove for Williams and McLaren.
"I would pass people. I left and then people realised two years later 'We're missing that'. I got an award for overtaking move of the year, and I thought 'That's my job, that's what we're all supposed to do'," added Montoya.
Whatever the opinion of Verstappen, he and teammate Daniel Ricciardo might have a title-contending car in their hands for 2017.
"Traditionally, Red Bull has always responded well to new regulations," team official Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Motor und Sport.
"The 2017 cars will also separate the wheat from the chaff because they will be more difficult to drive, and on the driver side we are well set up.
"Also, the engine development by Renault has been positive, while Mercedes cannot just rely on its tried and tested package. We're all going to start from zero," he added.