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Wolff reveals how Verstappen and Schumacher 'UNLOCKED' F1 potential

Wolff reveals how Verstappen and Schumacher 'UNLOCKED' F1 potential

Wolff reveals how Verstappen and Schumacher 'UNLOCKED' F1 potential

Wolff reveals how Verstappen and Schumacher 'UNLOCKED' F1 potential

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has drawn a striking parallel between Max Verstappen's driving prowess in the current Formula 1 era and the legendary Michael Schumacher's ability to handle challenging machinery.

The comparison comes in the wake of Verstappen's record-breaking performances in the 2023 season, where he secured his third straight world championship with a whopping 575 points.

1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill laid the foundations for the discussion, noting the inherent difficulty in driving F1 cars, especially when finely tuned for peak performance.

Michael Schumacher (right) racing Damon Hill at the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen claimed 19 victories in the 2023 season, an F1 record

'Not many can cope'

"F1 cars, when they're right they're very difficult to drive," said Hill on the F1 Nation podcast.

"Slow-speed corners are not easy. And that's why you get this - some drivers can cope with it.

"We saw it with Michael Schumacher with the Benetton. He could drive it, but no one else could drive it."

Toto Wolff admires the way Max Verstappen has commanded the Red Bull car

Wolff: Max drives RB19 on rails

Wolff agrees with Hill, particularly highlighting the Dutch driver's ability to drive the cars 'on rails'.

“I think that's the case with Max," said Wolff in response to Hill's comments.

"When you look at the qualifying lap yesterday, not the on-board but you look at TV cameras and I said it in the session yesterday, it looks slow. Because he drives that car on rails.

Max Verstappen could break Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton's world title record

"There is no slip, not a single movement with the car sliding, not on braking, not an entry, not an exit, nowhere. He has unlocked the potential of these regulations with a car that’s just very good."

Verstappen's third world title at the age of 26 stands him in good stead to overtake Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton's record seven world championships.

However, the Dutchman has insisted on many occasions that he could be looking to move on from F1 once his contract ends in 2028.

READ MORE: F1 Driver Salaries: How much do Hamilton, Verstappen and co earn?

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