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Verstappen says Hamilton hasn't had good team-mates

Verstappen says Hamilton hasn't had good team-mates

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Verstappen says Hamilton hasn't had good team-mates

Verstappen says Hamilton hasn't had good team-mates

Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton's run of dominance over Formula 1 has been more to do with the weakness of his team-mates at Mercedes.

Hamilton has won the drivers' title in four of the five seasons in the V6 Hybrid era, and is potentially two races from being crowned for a sixth time overall in 2019.

Nico Rosberg beat Hamilton to the title before retiring in 2016, but the Briton suffered significant reliability issues in that season and he has dominated Valtteri Bottas, since the Finn was drafted in as Rosberg's replacement.

Verstappen has been unable to take the fight to Hamilton as Red Bull have struggled to match Mercedes' pace, with Ferrari also falling short, something the Dutchman says is a big factor in Hamilton's record-breaking.

"Over the years, Lewis hasn't had the strongest team-mates," Verstappen told The Telegraph.

"If you have the right car you can beat everyone. Lewis is an amazing driver, and one of the best to have raced in Formula 1.

"But he has also had the best car, and when you have the dominant car, the only one you are really fighting is your team-mate."

Prior to his victory in Austria this year, widespread reports had suggested that exit clauses in Verstappen's contract could have been activated in 2019, prompting speculation that Mercedes may look to sign the Dutchman.

Mercedes have twice previously signed to sign Verstappen and a potential partnership with Hamilton has been described as a "dream" by the likes of Bernie Ecclestone, but Verstappen is unconcerned about potentially teaming with the champion.

"If it happens, it happens, but it is not something I am dreaming of," he said.

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