Former Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger reckons that Max Verstappen is a future world champion in the making and has even compared the Dutchman to the great Ayrton Senna, in that both were susceptible to making mistakes early in their careers.

Verstappen has had to face up to intense scrutiny this season, with commentators questioning the 20-year-old’s driving style in the wake of a serious of incidents with other drivers, culminating in a collision with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Baku and crashing into a wall at Monaco.

Ayrton Senna in Monaco in 1984

Verstappen has regularly hit back at his critics, saying that he will not change his aggressive approach, and Berger reckons that his approach reminds him of Senna’s ability to take chances, particularly when he was starting out in the sport.

He said: “Just as Senna did in his early days, that occasionally caused mistakes, but at the end of the day, all is well because he will become a champion. I have no doubt about that.

“I also saw him riding in Formula 3 and karting, and it was said that he had the best bike. Nonsense, he was just the only one who really dared to kick the accelerator.”

The Dutchman’s form has improved in recent weeks, collecting the chequered flag in Austria for his first win of the 2018 season.