Date published: January 14 2020

Ex-F1 driver Gerhard Berger believes Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are level when it comes to ability, but Leclerc embraces “politics” more.

Both Verstappen and Leclerc regularly make up the conversation when talking about future stars of Formula 1 and are seen as the pair most likely to end the dominant reign of six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Fans got a taste of the potential future battles to come between Leclerc and Verstappen in 2019, most notably at the Austrian and British GPs, and both are now tied down to long-term deals with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively.

But while both youngsters possess amazing talent, the way they go about racing is different in Berger’s eyes.

While Verstappen in his opinion is the unpredictable one with no filter, Leclerc he feels conducts himself in a more “political” manner, making the pair “fundamentally different”.

“The two are fundamentally different. Verstappen is more aggressive and unpredictable,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“He is completely apolitical, says what he thinks, and loud enough for everyone to hear. He drives the same way.

“Leclerc gives the impression that he is the calmer and more considerate driver. I see more calculation, more politics.

“As I said, a completely different approach, but on the same level in terms of ability.”

Verstappen has established himself as the clear number one at Red Bull, and in 2020 he will look to keep his advantage over team-mate Alex Albon as the Anglo-Thai driver begins his first full season with the team.

Leclerc meanwhile will look to continue his progress at Ferrari – he joined the team for 2019 to act as Sebastian Vettel’s understudy while he improved his craft, but would go on to score more points, claim more poles and race wins than the four-time World Champion.

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