“Like Federer Against Djokovic”- Horner Draws Huge Parallels to Max Verstappen-Lewis Hamilton Rivalry

Published 06/18/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

The title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton continues to intensify. After 6 races, Verstappen leads Hamilton by just 4 points heading into this weekend’s French Grand Prix.


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Although the drivers have a significant age difference of 13 years, it’s not stopping them from putting top-notch performances in every race.

Recently, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner compared their rivalry to another prominent rivalry in the tennis world.


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Christian Horner references Federer-Djokovic rivalry to depict the Verstappen-Hamilton battle

At just the young age of 23, Verstappen has established himself as a huge threat to Hamilton this season. In addition, Red Bull look better than ever in their battle with Mercedes this season.

This battle between the Dutchman and the vastly experienced Hamilton draws similarities with the rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

At just 20 years of age, Djokovic won the 2008 Australian Open, despite Federer dominating the sport aged 27 at the time.

Christian Horner mentioned this long-standing tennis rivalry to mention how Verstappen is bringing the best out of Hamilton this season. In addition, the Briton also believes an F1 fan cannot ask for more than this.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

He said“As a Formula 1 fan, I couldn’t ask for anything better. I want to see the two of them compete at eye level on the racetrack and find out who is really the best.

“It’s like Federer against Djokovic. Max forces Lewis to get the most out of himself. And vice versa. Both got better again. You are above all others.” (Quotes translated from Google)


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Although Red Bull look like a much stronger outfit, Mercedes have an impressive track record in the French Grand Prix.


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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying in third position REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

In order to extend his lead over Hamilton this weekend, Verstappen needs to finish ahead of the Briton this Sunday. While free practice today will help them lay down a marker for the weekend, Red Bull will hope to keep Mercedes at bay.

Can the Dutchman stay ahead of his British rival after June 20?


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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.