'Verstappen will be F1 world champion' - Berger

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Former grand prix winner Gerhard Berger thinks Max Verstappen’s stunning rookie season provides the Toro Rosso driver with a solid basis to “become world champion one day”.

Verstappen took Formula One by storm last year, scoring 49 points en route to 12th in the Drivers’ standings. The Dutchman finished fourth twice – in Hungary and the US – and became F1’s youngest ever points scorer in Malaysia, while also showing a knack for pulling off eye-catching overtakes.

While Verstappen received a slew of post-season awards, Berger, who held a 50% stake in Toro Rosso from 2006-08, expects the teenager’s trophy cabinet to host more silverware in the future.

“Max did a superb job,” the former Ferrari and McLaren driver told German publication Bild. “And most importantly, he delivered great performances for his first season in F1. If he keeps that up, he will become Formula One world champion one day.”

Verstappen, who recently said he was targeting multiple F1 titles, will return to Faenza for a second campaign partnering Carlos Sainz. The Dutch prodigy looks to score double the amount of points he had in 2015, as well as a maiden podium in the top flight.

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