David Coulthard is expecting F1 to soon go from the current “Hamilton era” to a new one dominated by Max Verstappen.
Thanks to the progress made by Red Bull, Verstappen has the car to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton this season and is thus far doing just that.
And thanks to a dominant win at the Monaco Grand Prix, coupled with the fact that Hamilton finished down in P7, the Dutchman took the lead of the standings for the first time in his career.
While former Red Bull man Coulthard doesn’t think that Verstappen will become the sport’s dominant force this season, he is expecting it to happen soon.
“He has the skills and is a man for the coming seasons. There is no doubt in my mind that we will see a shift from the Hamilton era to the Verstappen era,” the Scot told racingnews365.com.
“I don’t know if that already happens this year, it will be due to the development race between the teams. We are now only in the early stages of the season.
“In Barcelona, Mercedes was far too strong for Red Bull, but in Monaco, it was Red Bull again too strong for them. I think it will be a change this season.”
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Verstappen isn’t the only young driver to impress this season, with George Russell, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris all also enjoying strong starts to the campaign for their respective teams and widely considered to already be among the best on the grid.
Coulthard has singled out those four specifically as the talents that he’s excited about, not only for their on-track abilities but also for how they act outside of the car compared to Hamilton, who he doesn’t feel is great in that regard.
“I’m really excited about the future of the sport,” he added.
“Lewis is a great driver, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not a man of the people in the paddock.
“Max, Charles, George and Lando on the other hand, understand their job consists not only of driving race cars but also that they have to deal with the media and sponsor, that they just have to be open, which has not always been the case with various drivers in the past.”
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