Max Verstappen sends warning to Lewis Hamilton with response to ‘experience’ question
F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Max Verstappen does not believe Lewis Hamilton’s extensive experience fighting at the top of F1 does not give the reigning champion an advantage. Formula 1 returns from its four-week summer break this weekend, with the Belgian Grand Prix the first of three successive weeks of racing.
Despite holding a healthy lead earlier in the season, Verstappen crashed out of the British Grand Prix and finished ninth at the Hungaroring.
Those disappointing results in the two most recent races saw the Dutchman fall eight points behind Hamilton at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.
Red Bull are also trailing Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, with the German manufacturer holding a 12-point lead.
While Hamilton is in a familiar position at the top of the leaderboard, Verstappen does not believe the Brit’s experience gives him an edge in their 2021 battle.
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“Personally, I don’t think so,” the Dutchman declared. “The only advantage you can really have is just if you have a faster car.
“In this sport, it’s so dominant when you have a really good car.”
The 23-year-old went on to explain his comments, highlighting his belief that each driver on the grid could compete at the front if their car allowed it.
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“There’s so many good drivers in this sport but they don’t have the opportunity to fight at the front,” Verstappen added.
“If you have seven titles or one or zero, I think at the end of the day, when you have spent a few years in F1, and especially more towards the front, like top five, you know that you have to try and finish every race.
“You know that you have to try and score the most available points every single weekend and I think all of us we always try and do our best and race in the best possible way.
“I don’t really see the advantage there.”
Red Bull were considered by many to have the better car at the start of the 2021 season, but updates implemented to the Mercedes car have allowed the Silver Arrows to level the playing field.
Despite Mercedes’ constant improvement, Verstappen remains confident his RB16B has untapped potential.
“We had a lot of good races, just the last two didn’t go our way [for reasons] out of our control,” the Dutchman said.
“I’m very positive. The team is looking forward to getting started again and of course there’s still a lot of races to be held.
“Let’s see how it goes.”
Formula 1 returns for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 29.
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