You know Max Verstappen is going to be a talked about athlete when he compares himself to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. After coming for heavy criticism from fellow drivers for his aggressive driving, with the latest controversy coming in the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen, the brightest young talent in the Formula One circuit at the moment, brought out the Zlatan Ibrahimovic defence.
Verstappen does not look like being on Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen's Christmas card list for this year after a coming together with the two Ferrari drivers in the first corner at Spa last weekend, with Raikkonen in particular peeved at the manner in which Verstappen defended his place in the race later on.
"I'm all up for fair battles and close racing," Raikkonen, who would eventually finish two placed above Verstappen, said. "But when I have to back off after Eau Rouge on the straight when I made my move, I had to brake not to hit him, because he turns after I make my move the first time.
"That, I think, is not correct. We were fortunate there wasn't a big accident because of that."
Verstappen, though, sees nothing wrong in his style of driving. "Why should I (change my style)? And I just said that I don't like to stay in the past," Verstappen, who became the youngest driver in history to win an F1 race when he won the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this season at the age of 18, said.
"What happened happened, and this is another race weekend where I will push as hard as ever. I do my thing â€“ with my driving style as it always was."
And that style has been compared to the Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with the link made by the teenager himself.
"You have to see it like this," the Red Bull driver, who has been compared to Ayrton Senna and current world champion Lewis Hamilton, added. "Let's say you put Ibrahimovic in terms of attacking you, you put him up as a defender. Would he like it just because other people think he is a better defender? I don't think he will listen to those guys.
"If he likes to attack, he wants to attack. It is not because other drivers tell me I have to change my driving style that I will change my driving style."
With the Formula One bandwagon moving to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, expect more fireworks.