Jenson Button believes Max Verstappen is the quickest driver to have ever participated in Formula 1.
Verstappen has broken several records since becoming the youngest grand prix driver of all time back in 2015, while his driving style has made him a sporting superstar in his native Netherlands and across motorsport.
Red Bull's struggles to match the power of Ferrari and especially Mercedes in the V6 Hybrid era means Verstappen's return of seven race wins is paltry compared to some of his championship-winning rivals at similar stages of their careers.
But Button has no doubt that no-one has ever compared to Verstappen in terms of pure speed.
"I think he is the fastest driver that has ever driven an F1 car, I really do," Button told TalkSport.
"I think he is unbelievably fast. Previously to this year he made some mistakes, as you would expect from a young driver, but now he's doing such a fantastic job.
"I really, really do think he is very special."
Verstappen has raced in an era dominated by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
Button was Hamilton's team-mate for three years at McLaren, but says it is difficult to compare his former colleague's achievements against the greats of F1 past, despite his march to the upper echelons of F1's record books.
"You really can't compare. He's been in a team that has dominated Formula 1," Button added.
"I have loved watching F1 this year because Ferrari and Red Bull have had chances to win races and it's been awesome to watch, but over a season the Mercedes team has been so dominant.
"He's done a fantastic job as a driver, he's done what's been asked of him, but you can't compare him to drivers of a different era. It was a different sport, even, back then."
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