Max Verstappen says he has never considered Sebastian Vettel a "magical" driver, despite the German sat statistically as one of F1's greatest drivers, with four world titles to his name. Red Bull star Verstappen says Vettel's seasonal defeat to Daniel Ricciardo and recent struggles against Charles Leclerc prove his point.
Vettel took four consecutive titles for Red Bull from 2010-2013 as the team dominated F1, until the dawning of the V6 Hybrid era checked their progress and opened the door for Mercedes to take over.
Ricciardo outscored Vettel in the first V6 Hybrid era, prompting the German to switch to Ferrari, where he has twice pushed Lewis Hamilton in the title fight, but coming up short each time.
"I've always thought that Vettel is a good driver, because otherwise you won't win four world titles," Verstappen told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"However, I never thought he was magical.
"That's partly because Daniel Ricciardo managed to beat him at Red Bull and now comes confirmation with Leclerc, which also makes it very difficult for him. "
Verstappen has recently been linked with a move to Mercedes, talk fuelled by Dr Helmut Marko claiming that Toto Wolff had been in regular contact with his driver, claims dismissed by the Silver Arrows chief and Verstappen.
However, with Charles Leclerc shaping up as a driver that could be a long-term rival in F1, Verstappen dismissed the notion that he would avoid entering into another partnership with a leading driver.
"If there is ever the chance that Leclerc and I can become teammates, I will certainly accept that challenge," he added.
"That also applies to Hamilton, he has already won five world titles, but I don't care."
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