The rise of Lewis Hamilton to this level of success is no doubt admirable. Many have often wondered if it would have been different with an even tougher teammate alongside him.
After all, Nico Rosberg did challenge him fair and hard in 2016. It was the German who then pipped Hamilton to win his first and only World Drivers’ championship before retiring.
There are undoubtedly a few drivers who could match and tussle with Hamilton with equal machinery. Former World champion Jenson Button has talked about his opinion of three names who would do so.
The 2009 drivers’ champion feels young guns Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen can be fitting teammates to Hamilton. While also giving Daniel Ricciardo a more than honorable mention in his comments about the subject.
“Max, Charles and Daniel Ricciardo – that’s it I reckon, those are the guys that are ready to challenge Lewis.”
Many in the paddock have a good amount of respect for the Australian driver. His racecraft as well as his off-track demeanor makes him a very likable personality. However, he is a very competitive teammate, as Verstappen knows from their time together at Red Bull.
“I’d love to see Danny Ric up against Lewis, because I think he would mentally hurt Lewis a lot.
He would be quick and he would laugh everything off, he would be so relaxed, so down to earth, he’s a proper character and I know that most drivers would find that difficult.” stated Button.
Admittedly, Valtteri Bottas has given a challenge to his teammate Hamilton time and again. However, Hamilton, combined with a powerful Mercedes car, just seems unbeatable at the moment.
The last four seasons have seen challengers come up against Hamilton. Over the course of the season, that level of consistency from the contenders simply tails off in the pressure of a title race.
Therefore, it is hard to look beyond anyone coming close to the British driver during the races. When they do, they must be ready to seize the opportunities and create a statement of intent.