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Verstappen "annihilating" teammates like Senna, Schumacher did

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Verstappen "annihilating" teammates like Senna, Schumacher did
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Max Verstappen is "annihilating" teammates in a way not seen since the likes of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, says Jenson Button.

The Dutchman hasn't been beaten by a teammate in the Formula 1 standings since he was paired with Daniel Ricciardo in 2017, and even then Verstappen outqualified the Australian 13-7.

That qualifying balance blew out to 15-5 in Verstappen's favour the following season, while Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon were only able to outqualify Verstappen once each during the 2019 season.

In the six races so far this season Verstappen has outqualified Albon on all six occasions, and finished ahead in every race he has completed.

That head-to-head record is something Button finds deeply impressive, the 2009 world champion telling the In the Fast Lane podcast that it reminds him of greats Senna and Schumacher.

"You compare him to his teammates the last two years, he has just annihilated them," said Button.

"I haven't seen that in motorsport for a very long time, probably back to the Ayrton Senna days, and Michael Schumacher days. I don't think there's been a driver that's annihilated their teammate like he has in a very long time.

"He is doing an exceptional job. I would love to see him go up against Lewis [Hamilton] in a championship fight. Those two, top of their game, it's what we all want to see. Is it ever going to happen? I don't know."

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The lack of competition from the other side of the garage isn't necessarily a positive, though, with Button concerned that it may ultimately hold him back against the all-conquering Mercedes outfit.

"It's tough for [Max], because now he doesn't have a competitive teammate," Button explained.

"He's out on his own. He's probably not able to progress as much because his teammate isn't where he is at, in terms of pace.

"When your teammate is half a second off you, which [Albon] normally is, you don't tend to listen to his set-up changes and his set-up work. You're basically a one-car team. It's tougher.

"[Max] looks to the Mercedes, and I think it frustrates him. Silverstone was awesome, what a great result, but then in Barcelona you can hear the frustration in his voice on the radio.

"He just can't challenge them, because he doesn't have the car underneath him. It's tough for him, but he's just got to do the best job he can with the car he has."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen