Former FIA president Jean Todt believes Max Verstappen and Michael Schumacher have different personalities as the Dutchman prepares to capture his second Formula 1 World Championship.
The Red Bull driver could clinch the 2022 Drivers’ Championship as early as this weekend in Singapore if results go his way. His success has drawn comparisons to the German, who famously won seven world titles during his record-breaking career.
Todt, who served as Ferrari team principal during Schumacher‘s run of five consecutive titles, says that while the two seem to have different personalities, there are some similarities when they are on track.
“I don’t know if they are similar,” Todt said at the Festival dello Sport in Trento. “I know Michael very well, but not Max.
“They are two characters with different personalities, even if they are both determined and aggressive. Away from the track, Michael was a great person, meanwhile I don’t know about Max because I don’t know him. At this time he’s rightly focused on racing.
“Both of them have had great cars at their disposal. For how great they are, every driver needs a competitive car to win.
“When Michael joined Ferrari in 1996 he only won three races even though he had been World Champion the previous two years.
“It isn’t because he was lacking motivation, but because he didn’t have the car.”
Todt privileged to be Schumacher’s friend
Todt remains one of the few people still part of Schumacher‘s inner-circle since his skiing accident nine years ago left him in a come.
While updates regarding the German remain few and far between, Todt says the family are being helped by those closest to them.
“It’s a privilege for me to be so close to Michael and his family,” said Todt. “Their lives changed on December 29, 2013.
“The important thing is that their friends are close. These are things that happen in life, and they are more important than results or racing. Life, for everyone, isn’t just racing.”