Mario Andretti: Max Verstappen a ‘very rare’ talent

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Mario Andretti, former Formula 1 World Champion believes Max Verstappen is a ‘very race’ talent.

At the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen became the youngest race winner in the history of the sport at the age of 18 years and 228 days. In his first race with Red Bull Racing after being promoted from Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Dutchman managed to hold off rivals Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel to take the victory at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Andretti compares Verstappen’s current performance to Vettel’s when he was with Toro Rosso, believing Verstappen is now showing his capability.

“He showed that spark repeatedly in the Toro Rosso last year once he reached F1,” Andretti told ESPN. “He brought that Toro Rosso up to the next level just like Sebastian Vettel did.

“No one ever thought that a Toro Rosso would win, but Vettel did that in the most precarious conditions, when there was a level playing field in the wet at Monza and he showed his capability then and Max is doing the same thing now. 

“Talent at that level is very rare. He didn’t just show it as a flash in the pan, he demonstrated his promise and that’s why he was given the reward of going from the Toro Rosso to the Red Bull team.

“Of course [Red Bull young driver manager] Dr Helmut Marko now feels vindicated even though he was criticized for this early season move but it’s obvious he made the right decision.”