FIA President Jean Todt says Max Verstappen has many similar qualities to his former driver Kimi Raikkonen, and he touched on Hamilton and the regulations that made this year's title fight possible. In an interview with RaceFans as he prepares to conclude his last presidential term, Todt outlined his views on Verstappen and his rival for the title: Lewis Hamilton.
“Max is a bit like Kimi,” Todt said of the driver who can win the championship in the next race. "Very direct, very talented, and has limited interest and focus on that. Indifferent, "he added. Verstappen could break Hamilton’s streak of four consecutive titles won.
The driver of the Mercedes is an increasingly vocal advocate of diversity and human rights, which has sometimes brought him into conflict with the FIA. Last year, the sport revised its rules on podium ceremonies. "I like Lewis," he continued.
"Of course I admire his longevity, of course you know it's true that it's easier when you drive the best car, the best team in the long run." "But he has a passion. I think the fact that he is faithful is very good.
That doesn’t mean I always agree with the way he engages. But he has his beliefs, he expresses his beliefs, so I like it, I respect it. " "Sometimes I feel like it could be done differently, but the fact that he wants to be engaged, he wants to be a player in things he thinks is important, I respect that."
Todt on the rules
Todt believes the fight between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton for this year’s World Cup is the result of mostly stable technical rules that the sport has had for several years. "It was not unexpected," he said.
"Clearly, the more stability the rules you have, the smaller the margin of the revolution: then we could clearly see the engine suppliers progress from year to year, and then you know that both teams have very talented people to make the chassis."
"We knew that each team had one exceptional driver. That doesn't mean the other isn't good, it's clear that to be in Formula 1 you have to be a good driver anyway, especially the way you have access to a super license and all that.
" "But we also know that you have a limited number of drivers who give an extra kind of talent, an extra blessing and if combined with a car, we see what we see," explains the FIA president.