Verstappen’s ex-teammates hail hype around ‘special talent’

Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz have praised their former teammate Max Verstappen

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Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz say they not are surprised at the hype Max Verstappen has received in Formula 1 or the levels he has hit after winning a record-breaking 10th consecutive F1 race.

Gasly faced off against Verstappen in 2019 at Red Bull and was devastatingly beaten as the current world champion beat the Frenchman by 118 points, before he was subsequently demoted to Toro Rosso in the middle of the season.

However, Gasly was aware of what he was getting into after learning of the hype surrounding Verstappen as early as his karting days.

“It was clear already from the very young age when we raced in karting,” Gasly told select media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “The hype around him was already very different to any other driver.

“It was clear going up the ranks that there was more attention, more focus driven by the name, the performances and all of the hype around Jos [Verstappen] and Max’s relationships.

“So it was no surprise and the way that he came to F1 and performed and switched to Red Bull just amplified everything that followed, and I would say it’s no surprise that he is where he is today.”

Whilst Sainz raced against Verstappen in their debut seasons together, as the Dutchman outscored his Spanish ex-colleague by 31 points at Toro Rosso, before Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish GP.

“I think if there was something Max never lacked, it was hype around him,” Sainz said. “Even well before his debut in F1 when he was already in F3.

“There was he had already a lot of following I think his first year in F1. He came in and stormed F1 and had a lot of following behind him so yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all.

“I’ve always seen that hype, and I always understood it because obviously he’s a special talent and someone that is performing really well since the beginning.”

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