'Robot' Max Verstappen tipped to break Michael Schumacher record

Max Verstappen is capable of breaking Michael Schumacher’s long-standing Formula One record, according to former Ferrari star Felipe Massa.

The Red Bull driver has won the last two drivers’ championships and is looking to make it three in a row in 2023 – a feat only four men have ever achieved in the sport’s long history.

Juan Manuel Fangio, Sebastian Vettel and Sir Lewis Hamilton each won four consecutive titles, while Schumacher claimed five in a row with Ferrari from 2000 to 2004.

At the time, many thought that record would never be bettered and while Hamilton came very, very close it looked like that might be right.

But with Verstappen and Red Bull looking unstoppable right now, Massa believes the Dutchman can do the unthinkable, telling Bild: ‘Max doesn’t make mistakes, he drives like a robot.

‘He is extremely mature for his age. The two titles made him even better. He’s more relaxed now, not so dogged.

‘Verstappen has become world champion for the past two years, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t get the hat-trick.

‘Max can also win four, five or six titles in a row. Max doesn’t make any mistakes, Red Bull works perfectly, the engine is strong.

‘That’s how it was with Michael with Ferrari and Lewis with Mercedes. The conditions are ideal for a Red Bull era.’

11-time race winner Massa is well-placed to make such predictions, having been teammates with Schumacher and fellow world champions Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso during his seven years with Ferrari.

Two races into the 2023 season and Verstappen leads the standings by a point to teammate Sergio Perez, with the Red Bull RB19 shaping up to be one of the most dominant cars in F1 history.

The season continues with the Australian Grand Prix on 2nd April.

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