Sky Sports F1 analyst and former GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi thinks that Max Verstappen is the only driver who has the ability to beat Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on pure talent.
Verstappen has won only one race this season at Red Bull's home Grand Prix in Austria as both Mercedes cars had mechanical retirements, but apart from that, Verstappen has almost never finished ahead of Hamilton.
Still, on raw talent, taking away the cars and the fact that Mercedes has a much better package than Red Bull, Valsecchi thinks that the Dutchman is the only one that matches the reigning champion.
"He is extremely young, extremely good and extremely arrogant," Valsecchi was quoted by Formule1 when talking about Verstappen.
"Although, arrogant may not be the right word.
"He has a lot of self-confidence: 'I am the best, f*** you'.
"I love that. Max is a killer, always aggressive and very fast. You need that to become champion.
"In my view, Verstappen is the only one who can beat Hamilton. He can cause panic in Lewis' head.
"It is deadly sin that Max does not have a champion car. Now Hamilton is unbeatable because he has no competition.
"Max is much better than Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas."
That's a big claim, especially in Vettel's case. A four-time champion and a four-time race winner, it's hard to put Verstappen ahead of Vettel at this early stage of his career, especially since the 21-year-old hasn't had a title-contending car in his career yet.