Some speculation surrounded Max Verstappen’s move from Red Bull to this season’s Mercedes-Ferrari rivalry, and he quashed those rumors following his third place finish in Russia on Sunday, saying he was not interested in driving like Michael Schumacher.
“To compare me to Michael Schumacher is really out of place,” Verstappen said. “We are very different people. I know people compare me to Michael now and it’s just going to make things worse. I haven’t seen Michael’s car, so I don’t know what Mercedes are capable of.”
He did not say that he didn’t want to be like Michael, but he expressed doubts about the German’s ability to beat Lewis Hamilton.
“I am never going to try to beat Lewis,” he said. “I’m happy to go out and fight with other drivers as I know it is not going to beat anybody.”
Verstappen raced against Hamilton in Shanghai for only the second time since retiring from karting in 2013. But he said he had seen other facets of the British driver that could not have been learned during his three-year partnership with Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull.
“Lewis has a lot of things that are very, very hard to compare,” he said. “I think I could say a lot of the things that I have seen on the track maybe have not been there before. But as I saw Lewis fight Fernando Alonso in Brazil two years ago and managed to beat him, the difference was very, very small.”