How to recognise a Formula One talent: ‘Getting that Senna factor’

Max Verstappen is absolutely unbeatable in the current Formula 1 season. Partly due to his dominant RB19, the Dutchman is now in pole position for this season’s world championship. That the Red Bull driver is a good driver is one thing that is certain. But how do you recognise someone of his calibre? Former Formula One world champion Damon Hill explains.

The 62-year-old Hill explains that drivers with excessive talent are quickly picked out. “But you know that there are certain people who stand out even before they ever get anywhere near Formula 1” Hill tells the F1 Nation podcast.

Senna and Schumacher

“Certain drivers like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, there’s a buzz about them before they get anywhere near Formula 1 and until you get that Ayrton Senna factor about a person, then you can’t honestly say that they’ve got what it takes. You’ll know about them,” Hill explained.

Verstappen was discovered early on as a talent in the world of motorsport. The reigning and two-time world champion already won his first Formula One Grand Prix when he was 18 years old. Hill cites Felipe Drugovich as an illustration: “Drugovich has done some good stuff in F2, but you need to be knocking spots off of everyone in the lower formula and that’s the marker, that’s the one that will make Helmut Marko say, ‘we’ll have him or her’,” Hill said.

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