Verstappen: Hamilton only better because of Mercedes

Sunday, 23 december 2018, 05:18 , by Matthew Scott

Max Verstappen says a host of Formula 1's top drivers could have emulated the recent feats of Lewis Hamilton if they had the Briton's all-conquering Mercedes car at their disposal. Hamilton has been crowned world champion in four of the last five seasons, while closing in on many statistical records set by the great Michael Schumacher in the process.

Only Schumacher stands ahead of Hamilton in terms of world titles (7 to 5) and grand prix victories (91 to 73) after a dominant run which has seen Hamilton win 51 of the 100 races to have taken place in the V6 Hybrid era to date.

Verstappen has made a huge impact on F1 since debuting in 2015, and switching to Red Bull a little over a year later, but the Dutchman has just five race wins to his name as Renault's power deficit has hampered Red Bull badly.

With Red Bull hoping a switch to Honda can bridge the gap, Verstappen suggested Hamilton might not have built such a sparkling CV if machinery had been equal in recent years.

Verstappen told Formule 1: "I think Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and I could just as easily be champion with such a car.

"When I see onboard images, I think Mercedes has not even gone full throttle in many races."

Mercedes made moves to try and sign Verstappen in 2017, having previously seen him sign to Red Bull's junior programme ahead of them.

The Dutchman says he would prefer not to team with the likes of Hamilton and Vettel at this stage of his career – suggesting he values the standing he holds within Red Bull currently.

"When I think of my own career, it is not convenient to sit next to Hamilton or Vettel right now. Although I would absolutely do it if I had no other choice.

"I believe that with Red Bull I can also become champion, as long as we have the right package together."

MORE: Verstappen the 'perfect' teammate for Gasly
MORE: Red Bull claim best chassis of 2018

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Comments (96)

  • Atom Top
    So tired of this BS from Max, People what to discount Lewis cause he don't look like them. He's beaten every couple driver he has ever had, almost won championship 1st year driving,don't forget to that. Seb had the faster car at times still beat him. Face it he is the best F1 driver in this generation of drivers ,no one from this crop of egos will ever come close to what he has accomplished, watch,never! Max may get himself or someone else hurt before he becomes a world champion, and he may win one after Lewis retires, but only when Lewis leaves will they win. I hope they all get better cars,then the victory will be so much sweeter for Lewis. Mad Max and the rest of them have been driving long enough to know they will never come close to what Lewis has done even after he does retire,why because he has consistently won races through out his career. Max had problems even keeping his car on the track his first year. Know your history people.
  • Michael Mondor
    Mercedes put the whole package together just as red bull and Ferrari before them. Put any middle to top tier driver in those cars and they would do the same . Let Bottas loose without team orders or less fuss over Lewis and he wins . Hamilton is a good driver , winning is easier in a perfect scenario which Lewis has had , stick him in a middle pack car and he’s average . In the last 5 years the silver arrows have our performed , had almost flawless reliability and they have Niki/Toto much like Braun/Todt or Horner/Newey . Give every driver on the grid the exact same car and setup and see who consistently comes out on top of anybody
  • Alexander King
    Max is the next thing! But he really should sit back and observe. Because when hes on top he will not appreciate a statement like that. Which all champions seem to hear from bad drivers the media and fans. Truth be it told Max is in a Great car in a great team and has the best car designer on his team. So the statment is null and void from him. Skill is skill again Hamilton is the only ONE with titles from both teams hes been on. As for bad cars look at the last years at Mclaren and let's not mention the place he finished in every year with a bad car. Nuff said
  • Todd Spratt
    I'm not a hamilton fan as such But it comes down to the fact that be a chsmpion you have to have that champion mindset, winning everything and taking huge risks to do so can, but doesn't necessarily make you a champion. Max doesn't have that mindset. Maybe he will maybe he won't. And in the case of Vettel as a 4 times champion he just didn't for the most part, seem to handle the pressure like Lewis.
  • Nebojsa Stevanovic
    I feel so sorry for you Maxi with your cockiness you never will hold that champion trophy !!! All you saying is just pure jealousy and just understand that was so many great drivers out there with good car before and they didn’t win shit so please when you get to have what Lewis has on his belt then I can get you seriously before that you my need to talk to Lewis to teach you few things!!!
  • Davne Amazoo
    Haha the nerve of this guy...Hamilton did more than what Max is doing is his early F1 seasons... Like any other driver, they all shine bcos the cars they drive are capable... Max himself only won when Redbull was the strongest that weekend. This is just stupid and rediculous, especially coming from someone who crashes that much like he does!
  • Peter Szarek
    Ok what about Hamilton debut season 1point away from the championship. He put other drivers to shame in the Maclaren. And Rosburg only managed to beat him over a season once due to mechanical failures Hamilton suffered. He is 5time world Champion and his name will dominate the sport for the next Century.
  • Bryan Falcon
    Agreed. I doubt he’d be winning races if he was in a car that belonged at the back of the field now. Kind of like the talent pool of Kobayashi (Caterham), Trulli (Lotus 2011), Van der Garde (Caterham), Bianchi (Marussia), Wehrlein (Manor/Sauber) and the list goes on...
  • Ala Starr
    When he says that he would not team with Vettel or Hamilton right now (3 season in, moving to his forth) does he consider that Hamilton teamed up and equalled a raining World Champion in Alonzo in his first season. Does he also consider that Hamilton's pre F1 record say d above his.
  • Eathan Haywood-Weeb
    Its easy to use if’s and but’s when theres only 2-4 championship cars and 1-2 championship tier drivers in said cars when there could be 10 championship drivers, so we will never truly know who /the/ best is, but judging previous records and achievements, Lewis runs rings around Max.
  • Vera Rozenberg
    Omg can we rewind and look at what dumbass mistakes lewis mad when 21. Grow the fuck up haters. I thought we wanted to see a race. Ya'll just want to watch traffic lewis on pole... Get real be real... Max is the one who will race lewis. And thats what f1 is all about
  • Jamie Paget
    I agree with him. Hamilton is lucky to be where he is, and in the Ferrari, he would be where Seb is. He has had the best car for years, and by a mile. He's only proved he is better than Bottas, and marginally better then Nico Rosberg, who had a title off him, mind you.
  • Ricardo Gilperez
    Same words everyone use... Max Verstappen is not inventing anything! Lewis Hamilton is there because Merc... like Sebastian was there because Red Bull Racing ... and Alonso because Renault F1 Team/ Is not a rocket science statement.
  • Mark Andrew
    When he has 5 titles, I might take him a little more seriously. Until then it's all hot air and cocky bravado. These young whippersnappers eh. No-one ever easily wins an F1 title. He might find that out one day..
  • El Mati Fernandez
    No little Max, Ham is winning cause he learned how important is to be humble in life. He quit his diva way of be, only to care of his self and his team all together. You are still a gifted spoil child that needs a lot to learn
  • Lawrence V. Gibson
    There’s no doubt that Mercedes is the best. You have to ask yourself where Lewis would be without them. If Alonso was in a Merc he wouldn’t have been a back marker like he was in the McClaren. This is what F1 is.
  • Kenneth Petrie
    Let's see how many wins you get Max. I'm sure it will be many but you have a long way to go before you reach the hieghts achieved by Lewis, just in his first 2 years with McLaren.
  • Mark Connolly
    How many times has Hamilton put it in the wall in the past 3 Seasons? and you Max enough said. Perhaps Lewis mite have won it in your RedBull with a Renault engine
  • Max Rossa
    being a good driver also.means landing a good drive, wich verstappen never will. i doubt more and more that mercedes or ferrari will ever hire him.
  • Jason Fairbank
    The day Hamilton retires is the day you nobhead fannyboys retire too. So much cock sucking from you fannyboys it's bloody embarrassing.

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