Opinion on Max Verstappen’s talents was divided amongst the F1 Report guests as they dissected the Brazilian GP.
The Dutch driver stole the headlines for his performance in the rain, which saw a number of audacious overtaking moves and was branded “one of the best ever drives in F1” by Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
However, speaking on Wednesday’s show, Racecar Engineering magazine’s Sam Collins was not impressed.
“It is not one of the best. I’m not one of Max’s biggest fans, I think he’s massively overrated,” he said.
“He’s got no finesse to his driving, he gets in the car and it is like a PlayStation game for him – he doesn’t really understand what he is doing.
“I’m on the side of people like Vettel who just think he’s a bit out of control, but in Brazil some of the moves he made were just sensational. That is one of the best drives I’ve seen him produce.”
Asked how he could still not rate him despite those overtakes and keeping his car out of the wall after a half spin at the final turn, Collins added: “He just turns up to each corner, whacks on the brakes and it is crash or make the move.”
“Missing the wall was luck, he got onto the high grip surface on the inside and it came round just at the right moment for him.
“He did lift the throttle right at the right moment, so it was a bit of talent, bit of luck.
“But some of the moves he made around the outside on the kerbs – that was proper driving, so there is some talent there.”
Marc Priestley, though, believes Verstappen has been “a breath of fresh air” in F1.
“The fact that he makes these outrageous manoeuvres – more often than not he pulls them off and that is what we want to see,” said the former McLaren mechanic.
“He’s exciting and he’s brought a breath of fresh air into Formula 1. We don’t want to see people that are formulaic and only stick to the traditional racing line, we want to see people trying something different.
“I absolutely love that about Max, he’s got a lot to learn, but I think coming into the sport he’s just freshened it up.
“Even behind the safety car you could see him weaving off line, getting up alongside people, he was looking for grip all the way through those down periods.
“And I think he obviously found some because when we got back on underway he was making inventive overtakes in places we’ve never seen before and he was finding more grip than anyone else.”
Priestley even sees similarities between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton after his performance in Brazil.
“Max’s drive I have to say reminded me an awful lot of Lewis Hamilton. There was GP2 race in Turkey in 2006 when Lewis Hamilton burst into our lives really,” he added.
“He spun and he ended up right at the back of the field and he pulled off a race where he was overtaking people all over the place and I thought the drives were reminiscent of each other.”