Formula One World Championship leader Max Verstappen has praised Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability to perform at the highest level in his mid-thirties.
Max Verstappen has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as an ‘amazing example’ in how he has changed his game to stay at the top.
The Red Bull Racing driver, who is still only 23, is having the best season of his career to date in Formula One. He currently holds a 32-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Driver Championship standings.
But while Verstappen chases that first title, he is still a long way off the record of seven titles shared by Michael Schumacher and Hamilton. Both men have dominated the sport in the 21st century. And if there is one thing they each have in common, it’s that most of their championship victories came in their thirties.
Now Verstappen, who boasts several youngest records in F1, has acknowledged the importance of experience in a sport as it allows aging athletes to react to situations better compared to their younger selves.
He cited Ronaldo, who recently became the joint-record scorer in international football history at 36, as a perfect example.
“It’s like a football player – sometimes they can lose a bit of speed, but they can compensate by just reading the situation better than maybe five years before when they would maybe sprint a bit faster but not fully understand the awareness,” the Dutchman told Crash.net.
“For me, I think Ronaldo is an amazing example. For sure he’s not at the same speed as he was five or six years ago, because you do slow down when you get older in terms of purely running.
“But I do think he improves by awareness and just by the experiences he has on the pitch, for example.”