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Honda: Verstappen like a young Senna

  • Published on 04 Jan 2020 10:39
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Honda's Formula 1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto says Max Verstappen's relationship with the Japanese manufacturer is like seeing a young Ayrton Senna.

In 2019, Red Bull joined forces with Honda who spent the 2018 campaign in partnership with Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso.

Verstappen won three races throughout the year on his way to finishing third in the drivers' championship, his highest ever result in F1.

MOREHorner not expecting major driver market movement before 2021 | Verstappen: 60% of F1 field would win the championship in a Mercedes

Honda's most successful driver Senna took 32 grand prix wins in cars powered by it, with Yamamoto admitting he sees a young Senna in Verstappen.

"He's young, but his driving is really impressive," Yamamoto told Autosport. "It looks like seeing a young Senna, with his relationship with Honda.

"Max maybe pays respect to Honda. He feels Honda is familiar. And then probably the badge he showed on the podium in Austria proved that he was very happy as well.

"This gives us an emotion that we want to provide a good engine for him. Of course, all the four drivers are very important for us."

Yamamoto added that Verstappen has become an important part of Honda, with the Dutchman showing an open desire to see the manufacturer improve. 

"The passion we showed towards winning made the relationship stronger with him," said Yamamoto.

"He also has been to the F1 R&D centre and our mass production site. There's many, many people [working at Honda] and he has actually seen it.

"He went through a tunnel of people getting high fives, like one kilometre long! That kind of thing maybe gave him a stronger impression about Honda, and a stronger commitment to Honda."

MOREGPToday.net's 2019 F1 driver rankings - #1 - Max Verstappen

Replies (4)

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  • I think for many of us who revere Ayrton Senna, think that it's almost disrespectful to make the comparison. However, the reality is that Ayrton too was considered to be pretty wild by other drivers. There's the famous interview with Jackie Stewart where it was implied that Ayrton was prone to crashing.

    That being said, I do think Max is on a different level in terms of recklessness. Improving each year, but the previous 3 years have both incredible highlights as well as lowlights for Max.

    • + 1
    • Jan 5 2020 - 01:20
    • I think there are a lot of apt parallels to draw between the two. They were both incredibly talented drivers with reckless behaviours and very strong fan-following driving Honda-powered cars. And looking back at some of the races from his era, Senna was a proper berserk, never backing down from a fight (on-track, off it he was apparently pretty likable). So I feel the comparison is very apt.

      • + 0
      • Jan 5 2020 - 18:08
  • Dert38

    Posts: 150

    Young Senna: Honda like an old Verstappen

    • + 0
    • Jan 5 2020 - 05:26
    • Young old: Senna like an Verstappen Honda. ;)

      • + 0
      • Jan 5 2020 - 17:59

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