Ralf Schumacher drew a rare comparison between Max Verstappen and his own legendary brother Michael after watching the Dutchman’s dominant drive to Brazilian Grand Prix victory.
Only Lando Norris was able to keep Verstappen honest in Sao Paulo. But even the McLaren driver’s best efforts could not stop the Red Bull racer from securing his 17th win of an extraordinary campaign.
And it was the 52nd of his career already, having celebrated his 26th birthday less than six weeks ago. Victory in the final two races of 2023 will see him leapfrog Sebastian Vettel to outright third in the all-time list.
Lewis Hamilton is, of course, the all-time record holder with 103 wins. Michael Schumacher is the other still ahead of Verstappen having taken 91 Grand Prix victories, while both are still four world championship successes clear of the Dutchman.
But Schumacher’s brother Ralf, himself a six-time race winner, is now satisfied that Verstappen is in the same category as the very best Formula 1 has ever seen. “Max Verstappen races from victory to victory, continues to write history and simply didn’t make any mistakes in Brazil,” he wrote in his Sky Germany column.
“However, I’m not a fan of always drawing comparisons with my brother or Ayrton Senna. They were exceptional in their time. That’s Verstappen now too. It’s incredible how he does it. If you compare his performance with his team-mate Sergio Perez, there was once again a big difference in the race.”
The victory saw Verstappen break yet another record in this most dominant of seasons. It ensured that, no matter what happens in his final two outings of 2023, he is guaranteed the highest win percentage over the course of a single F1 season.