Former McLaren coordinator Jo Ramirez believes Max Verstappen is now F1’s modern-day Ayrton Senna with his partnership with Red Bull being almost “unstoppable”.
The Dutchman began the 2023 Formula 1 season in the perfect way at the Bahrain Grand Prix by taking victory while hardly breaking a sweat from his teammate Sergio Perez.
Ferrari’s problems helped to accentuate the dominance of the reigning world champions but Ramirez still believes that the combination of the two makes Verstappen equivalent to Senna at his peak.
“The guy is very good,” Ramirez said to Spanish media outlet AS. “He has taken the role of Ayrton Senna in modern F1 and with that car, that team and Adrian Newey he is almost unstoppable.
“Checo [Perez] is very good too, but he lacks the killer instinct that Max has.”
While the pure statistics may say Verstappen was more dominant in 2022 than Senna ever was in a single year, there are too many factors to consider to make it a fair comparison.
For example, Senna‘s best winning year was 1988 when he won eight of the 16 races in the utterly dominant McLaren which only failed to win once all year.
Compare that to Verstappen‘s 15 wins in 2022 from 22 races and the percentages certainly favour the Dutchman but the competition was not there.
Senna had to try and stop the great Alain Prost in the same machinery and no one would try to claim Perez is on a level near Prost in relative terms.
But Ramirez, who worked for McLaren for 18 years and worked with Senna among other greats of the past, is right to suggest he is the modern-day equivalent.
When at their best, nobody could get anywhere near either of them in qualifying or the race and that makes this spell of dominance incredibly special.