(GMM) Robert Kubica says Max Verstappen does not deserve his reputation for "recklessness".
The Pole was asked about the Red Bull driver's reputation for racing aggression, but he said Verstappen is in fact "very strong in every area".
"I disagree with the criticism he receives for his so-called recklessness," the Alfa Romeo reserve driver, who raced for Williams last year, told Italy's Autosprint.
"He is smarter than you think and should be able to become world champion without any problems."
Kubica said he also was not surprised last year when Charles Leclerc proved to be one of the surprises of the season.
"Leclerc almost won his second race for Ferrari, which for me says it all," he said. "Those who were amazed at his talent understand very little about it.
"It was already clear that he would give Vettel a hard time, but Sebastian was also able to respond to that."