Mark Webber is very pleased with Max Verstappen’s performance in 2021. The Dutch driver decided the battle against Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the last race of the season. Normally most title candidates show signs of nervousness, but Verstappen appeared icy calm under the pressure. Moreover, he seemed to be able to cope with the seven-time world champion from the first moment.
The former Formula 1 driver is therefore impressed by the mentality of the Red Bull Racing driver. “You could never find cracks in Max,” Webber is quoted as saying by Speedweek. “Even the blowout in Baku and the crash at Silverstone couldn’t bring him down. Both Lewis and him have had to take some disappointments this season, but in the end Max just won against a mentally and physically fit Hamilton.’ Still, Webber discovered one small moment of nervousness in the new world champion. ‘Max was not doing well in Saudi Arabia.’
It was the first time that Verstappen could actually compete for the title. Webber is amazed that the pressure didn’t seem to bother him. Max showed from the start of his Formula 1 career that he is incredibly mature for his age. Since then, his confidence has only grown. When he came to Toro Rosso he only had experience in karting, but now he is one of the most experienced drivers in the sport. Red Bull took a risk, but that suits the team.’
Verstappen takes what he can
Webber also drove alongside some world champions, namely Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton. The Australian sees that Verstappen thinks differently than his colleagues. “Verstappen has been looking at Formula 1 for a long time and saw that Hamilton was so dominant. I think he wants that for himself too. Max is therefore not intimidated by the success of others. I see him as someone who sees a piece of land and wants to conquer it. He wants to make Formula 1 his territory,” said Webber.