2019 runner-up would be 'something special' for Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton hugging

Formula 1's motorsport chief Ross Brawn reckons a runner-up position for Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the championship would be "something special".

Verstappen has taken two victories this season already, matching Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and sits just seven points adrift of the Finn in the points standings after 12 races.

Although title leader Lewis Hamilton is romping off into the lead with eight wins and a 69 point advantage to Verstappen and is therefore "out of reach" according to Brawn, beating Bottas to second would be a major achievement for the 21-year-old.

"In Hungary, the Milton Keynes squad proved it had the second most potent package, with Honda showing it has made real progress in terms of power and speed," said Brawn in his post-race debrief.

"Max has scored more points (81) than any other driver from the last four races. That’s 18 more than Hamilton and also almost twice that of the Ferrari duo who are on 45 each. It’s also well over twice Bottas’ total.

"Beating Lewis for the title seems out of reach, but second place is now more likely for Verstappen and that would be something special."

Verstappen's highest standings finish was fourth in 2018 where he finished behind Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed with Brawn's assessment that Hamilton is too far ahead, admitting that only a "gargantuan f**k up" would make it possible for the five-time champion to be caught now with just nine races to run.