Max Verstappen “has to establish his F1 brilliance,” with a key element missing.

According to Richard Bradley, a Le Mans winner, there is a crucial aspect missing in Max Verstappen’s career that would solidify his status as an all-time great. This missing element pertains to his ability to surpass the capabilities of inferior machinery.

There has been ongoing discussion about Verstappen’s position among the all-time greats, especially after his recent victory in Barcelona, which marked his 40th career race win and two World Championships.

Bradley, a sportscar racer who achieved victory in the renowned 24-hour race in France back in 2015 in the LMP2 category, highlighted instances from the past where other Formula 1 legends showcased their greatness even when not driving dominant cars. He specifically mentioned Verstappen’s debut season with Toro Rosso alongside Carlos Sainz, noting that Verstappen’s current standout performance contrasts with that time.

However, Bradley was quick to acknowledge that the Red Bull driver’s current status places him among the best in the sport.

“I don’t think so,” Bradley said on the On Track GP podcast, produced in collaboration between and DR Sports, when asked if Verstappen can already be considered an all-time F1 great aged just 25.

“The reason why is since he’s gone into Red Bull, he’s always had a car that’s been capable of fighting.

“And all of the all-time greats, at some point, they took something which wasn’t the best equipment, and they made it work.

“You know, we look at Lewis and 2009 with that McLaren. Okay, he had the dominant Mercedes years [since]. We look at Schumacher when he won his first championships, Senna when he won that famous Donnington Grand Prix in 1993.

“They all have a time when they’re not in competitive equipment, but they make it work. We haven’t seen that from Max.

“When he was at Toro Rosso, which is now AlphaTauri, he was very level with Carlos [Sainz], so I’m still waiting to see that that last bit to prove his greatness – but the level he’s on now, it’s Schumacher-esque, it’s absolutely dominant.”

Bradley expanded on his reasoning by drawing a comparison between Max Verstappen’s steady advancement in recent seasons and that of Fernando Alonso.

Despite frequently piloting underperforming cars since his championship wins in 2005 and 2006, Alonso’s remarkable ability to outshine his teammates and extract exceptional performance from his vehicles has consistently amazed observers.

“Fernando has consistently when he’s been in bad cars, he’s made them work, and he’s managed to get results,” Bradley added.

“That’s why we look at Fernando in that light, even though he’s only got two championships, even though he’s got less wins than Max, we look at him like that, because he’s proved it in inferior equipment.

“I’m going to wait to see that happen for Max, and it will happen at some point because it’s the ebbs and flows of Formula 1 regulation changes.

“I do think that he’ll be able to rise to the challenge and be up to it, 100%, but you just want proof of it.”