MARCH 4, 2024

Verstappen has character to keep dominating F1 says Prost

Max Verstappen can navigate the murky waters at the very top of Formula 1 for a long time to come, according to F1 legend Alain Prost.

Max Verstappen, Bahrain GP 2024
© Red Bull

This collective F1 paddock overwhelmingly agrees that Verstappen, 26, will go on to match Prost's impressive tally of four drivers' world titles.

It's a massive blow to Red Bull's increasingly resigned rival teams.

Verstappen does not represent excitement or hope, observed the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, but rather the desperation of the competition.

And amid that desperation, and even amid the swirling Christian Horner scandal that directly involves Max's own father Jos, Prost sees Verstappen as fresh and motivated and on the way to his fourth title.

The head is as important as the heavy right foot - the same as it was in my time, 69-year-old Prost, who was in Bahrain, told Servus TV.

"Once you win your first title, everything changes. You've achieved a big goal in your career, now you need a new one. Max now has three titles and won so many races just in 2023. You have to be able to constantly motivate yourself.

And I don't see any problem with Max in this regard. The way he leads his life, his attitude, his character, he always seems fresh and hungry for success, the Frenchman added.

"When you're so successful, some people expect you to keep succeeding, while others are waiting for you to stumble because they are hungry for something new. I think Max is very aware of this situation.

I see a Max Verstappen who is as motivated on the way to his fourth title as he was a year ago on the way to his third, Prost said.

He also thinks Verstappen skilfully treads the line between being the necessary egoist for meteoric success whilst also managing to be a nice guy.

And he thinks no current rival is as good as that as the Dutchman.

"Max comes ahead of everyone else, not just because of his outstanding talent, which allows him to get more out of the car than his teammates. It's also about character and mental attitude.

Some of the other young drivers show fabulous speed - Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, Prost said. "But it's one thing to win and another thing to compete consistently at the highest level for an entire season and be able to fight for a title.

Even for me today, it is impossible to say how they would deal with such pressure if they were in Max's situation.