Max Verstappen Heaps Praise on Lewis Hamilton Amid the Duo’s Growing F1 Rivalry

Published 04/10/2021, 4:29 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


After a brief break in the championship fights, there is finally a rivalry cooking up between Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s star driver, Max Verstappen.

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However, despite the Dutchman lining himself up for an intense duel with the Briton this season, he did not shy away from giving his fair share of respect to the seven-time world champion. Max revealed that he believes Hamilton is still one of the best drivers to compete in Formula 1.

What did Max Verstappen say?

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As reported by Motorsport-Total, Verstappen Jr felt that Lewis deserved all the credit for his record-equaling seven championship titles despite possessing a dominant F1 car under him.

You have to give Lewis credit for how he has dealt with all these years. How he always comes back and won all these races and championships,” he said. (Translated from German using Google Translate)

Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talks to the media on the podium after winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

You can’t avoid Lewis. Even if there are of course many other very strong drivers in Formula 1 who would be good in the car,” Verstappen continued.

Hamilton was looking like the favorite for winning the championship title this season. However, the advantage has been steadily diminishing since the season-opening weekend in Bahrain, with Verstappen looking more probable to lead the table by the end of the season.

Don’t care which driver you fight: Verstappen

The Dutchman revealed that Hamilton is still one of the best drivers on the grid. However, he clarified that he isn’t considering beating Hamilton a bigger achievement than any other driver.

He’s definitely one of the best of all time in Formula 1,” he said. “I don’t care which driver you fight.”

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

During the pre-season testing, Mercedes affirmed that their cars were lagging over one second behind rivals, Red Bull. However, the Stuttgart-outfit managed to bring the gap down to around 0.3 seconds over the weekend in Bahrain. Hence, one might think Mercedes will oust their rivals by the time F1 arrives at the halfway point.

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But that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon, as Red Bull are expecting their first of possibly many major updates over the third round in Portimao.

So, will Red Bull keep their battle alive with Mercedes throughout the season? Who is ultimately going to win that title? Well, let’s wait and watch how the future unfolds.

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Rohit Kumar

943 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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