Max Verstappen: Dutchman not Michael Schumacher role model – Verstappen

Media playback is not supported on this device Formula 1: How has Schumacher fitted in to new era?

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is not the new Michael Schumacher, but the German driver has provided a copybook role model, says the Red Bull driver.

Schumacher retired in 2012 after winning seven F1 world titles, with Verstappen around the same age as the 42-year-old.

“The advice I have taken from Michael would be that you never leave the car,” Verstappen said.

“You are the driver, you are in control. That’s important and it’s true – it’s not about titles. I am not Schumacher, I’m a young boy learning the sport.”

But Verstappen, 20, added: “I have probably not fulfilled it myself [as Schumacher]. I have raced the same car for three seasons, and that’s not long enough, so Michael was able to show the racing that I’ve shown, as an open driver.

“With a young team, I still haven’t matured, and I have a lot to learn.”

Verstappen will become the youngest driver to have won a grand prix in Saturday’s Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne.

He finished on the podium in his debut season last year, behind world champion Lewis Hamilton, and has been tipped as the next great driver.

He added: “He is one of my heroes, because of how he has achieved and how well he drives the car. I try to take in as much from him as I can.”

Michael Schumacher won five world titles and seven world titles with Ferrari, including the memorable 2004 season with Sebastian Vettel as team-mate

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo believes the Dutchman’s driving can still improve – before his weekend at the Albert Park circuit, which is described by the drivers’ bosses as the hardest on the grid.

“It’s the fact that he turns 19 this year,” he said. “The kid’s got everything – everything – and still has a lot to learn.

“We put a lot of pressure on him and every time he steps out of the car it’s like: ‘Jeez, what’s that?’ Even when he’s on pole, it’s just: ‘Oh, OK, can we do this again?’

“I still drive around the garage, man. I’m still quite young myself and looking at his reaction and the way he drives, you’d think he was 18 or 19.”

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