Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Verstappen is still getting better – Hamilton

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton expects Red Bull rival Max Verstappen will keep improving in 2018.

What they’re saying

Hamilton acknowledged Verstappen’s progress in a light-hearted exchanged with journalists at the final pre-season test:

Q: Last year you complimented Max Verstappen a couple of times, especially in the second half of the season. Coming into this season do you recognise a different type of driver, do you look at him differently?

LH: No.

Q: A more complete driver?

LH: No. Why would I think he’s a more complete driver?

Q: I don’t know.

LH: You hope he is? Are you Dutch? (Laughter) So you hope he is! (More laughter)

LH: Max, he’ll be growing every year. He should be better, generally, this year. He’s got his dad around him hopefully keeping his feet on the ground. As the car improves and his experience around the team continues to grow he will improve. That can only be good.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Pete’s thoughts on yesterday’s discovery that F1 TV Pro won’t be ready for a full public launch in time for this weekend’s race:

Not a surprise – I wondered how they were going to have a reliable service with the sort of numbers they’d have logging in for the first time. These services are notoriously unreliable when they initially start up and that’s without having multiple camera angles etc…

They are better off testing it for the first few races and launching once it works – the last thing you want is for people to only sign up for a month and then quit because it’s unreliable.

Happy birthday!

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “Verstappen is still getting better – Hamilton”

    1. Alonso, not very optimistic there, that is if he is talking about his team, or is he talking about himself? Surely he should be aiming to split or be ahead of the RBR drivers whether they are ahead of or behind the AMGs and Ferraris.

      1. Noone is proclaiming such an expectation, except those who want to set up McLaren to fail. If they can get near the Red Bulls by the end of the season that would be a success.

        1. @krommenaas If McLaren aren’t mixing it in the top three teams then it won’t be a success. They need to be beating whoever is third best to show that the last three years have been down to the engine choice. Otherwise “best chassis on the grid” comments were total BS.

          1. The team never claimed to have the best chassis on the grid, so yes that is total bs.

            1. Yeah, absolutely no-one.

          2. “They need to be beating whoever is third best to show that the last three years have been down to the engine choice”

            So you think Mc/Honda’s failure to compete over the past 3 years could have been due to ANYTHING other than the Honda engine? Amazing.

        2. Noone is proclaiming such an expectation

          McLaren themselves did when, last year they said they’d be fighting for podiums and wins with a renault and that RedBull has to be their meassuringstick.

          1. They never said they’d beat Red Bull with the same engine.

    2. I can’t imagine that Alonso would think they have the ability to get ahead of Red Bull right off the bat. However good the chassis is, they have just retrofitted a Renault into it. It will take till Europe before they get on top of in I would imagine.

      Sounds like a more realistic comment more than anything…..

      So….expect them to be at the back ;)

      1. @mach1 I don’t expect them to be at the back in this race. I expect them to be in the lower top-10, but let’s wait and see.

    3. Just looking at the weather forecast for Melbourne and it is very interesting.

      Friday mostly sunny, max 26C
      Saturday: Cloudy. High (70%) chance of showers, chiefly in the afternoon and evening. The risk of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Winds northerly 25 to 40 km/h.
      Sunday: Cloudy. Medium (60%) chance of showers, most likely in the late afternoon and evening. Winds northerly 25 to 40 km/h turning northwesterly 25 to 35 km/h during the morning.

      Northerly winds means a head wind down the pit straight and the straight into T3. Even without the threat of rain, this could make for closer racing.

      1. @kazinho Things can change rather quickly regarding weather forecasts as we’ve seen a few times, so, therefore, I always avoid reading too much into them, LOL.

        1. Melbourne, AKA ‘four seasons in one day’

      2. It would be great if we had a dry race at the start and showers by lap 20/22.

    4. He said behind the top 5, seems like a realistic goal, put behind a red bull (ricciardo I guess) when red bull is weaker and put behind a bad ferrari driver when ferrari is weaker, or if there’s a weekend with a slow mercedes (see malaysia 2017), maybe bottas.

    5. The bs stops when the green flag drops.

      1. Nice one!

    6. Lewis Hamilton expects Red Bull rival Max Verstappen will keep improving in 2018

      I predict that the sun will rise tomorrow.
      Any other earth shattering predictions Mr Hamilton?

      1. @johnrkh, well, what else do you expect him to say when a journalist is asking him if Verstappen is going to improve? Perhaps the question should be whether the journalist should have bothered asking that question if you feel the answer is so blindingly obvious.

        1. Perhaps the question should be whether the journalist should have bothered asking that question

          Well I must admit I do think it was a loaded question. Hamilton is a very media savvy person, I think he could have handled the question better.

      2. He was asked the question, try reading an entire paragraph or maybe pictures are more your thing.

        1. Another thin skinned LH fan?

    7. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      22nd March 2018, 7:44

      So where does that first bit of interview come from? I like the new set up of these roundups, but I need a source here and there.

      So, now I’m just assuming the questions were asked by a Dutch journalist … if that’s the case this is a prime example why I cannot stand the reporting of formula 1 in my home country The Netherlands. Although I am really excited by what Verstappen brings to the sport, there is much more to the sport than this one exciting driver. If a journalist faces a 4 time WDC, and arguably the one of the biggest names in current F1, and all the journo can think of is asking a question about his own favorite driver… I become quite sad.

      This is what puts me off greatly when watching the TV shows made by Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport, why I am angry for a few years now about how I can(not) get different, better coverage of F1, and why I am really looking forward to getting the new F1 TV in The Netherlands. I would happily spend €100 a year for that.

      Not only is Ziggo’s coverage too focused on only one star driver, the rest of the content is weak and bleak and empty and shallow and lacks in-depth knowledge of the sport I love. I won’t pay for a commentator who just describes what’s on the screen (and gets it wrong, occasionally), and basically stops exporting when Verstappen retires. (Don’t get me started on the pre- and post-shows around the race reports.)

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        22nd March 2018, 7:46

        I apologize for ranting on a broadcaster just based on the assumption that one unreferenced quote came from that broadcaster.

        1. Von Smallhausen (@engelbertvonsmallhausen)
          22nd March 2018, 8:38

          No need to apologize, I have the same issues with Ziggo. Will never pay for their lousy coverage.

          1. Me too. I would happily join F1 TV never to watch Ziggo again. Then I learned F1 TV will not be available in Holland. Then I discovered Ziggo is owned by… Liberty Global.

            1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
              22nd March 2018, 15:50


      2. At least I know Portugal is not alone. We have the occasional former F1 driver Pedro Lamy or Tiago Monteiro, they are good for insight, but everything else is terrible

    8. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      22nd March 2018, 9:27

      I’m a bit puzzled by the title of this page from the words Hamilton said. Verstappen is still getting better.

      “Q” “Do you look at him differently”

      Hamilton: “No”

      Then Hamilton also says no when asked about him being a more complete driver and seems to act like it is a rather unusual question.

      About the only thing Hamilton said in this was that he’s growing every year. Even after that, he said that this year that he should be getting better. Not that he is still getting better.

      Before Hamilton’s final answer, he clearly didn’t seem to have a strong opinion that Max is better. Is seemed he got pressured in to saying what he did and it to me doesn’t really go with the title of the page. As the first few questions and answers didn’t really get anywhere.

      I do think Verstappen has improves a lot myself, but it doesn’t really seem to go that well with what Hamilton has said here.

    9. digitalrurouni
      22nd March 2018, 12:12

      Must be a slow news day when folks keep overanalyzing Hamilton’s comments of Verstappen. All this is so boring. Come on drop the flag already and let’s get to racing! I need to see some speed and some cars and some records being broken!!!!

    10. I have been told that there will be discussions held after this weekend regarding the new font. More specifically changing/tweaking it due to issues having been raised regarding the difficulty many have been having reading it, Specifically people who have suffered head injuries or suffer from certain types of disabilities which is something that wasn’t considered even though existing FOM staff & broadcasters raised it multiple times.

      Regarding some of the things that came out yesterday-
      Broadcasters are largely not happy while Liberty have been shocked by the criticism although again some of the existing long term FOM staff are not & like with the font had raised it as something that probably shouldn’t be done…. But the people Liberty have brought in (From ESPN & Fox) ignored them saying that it’s stuff that works in nascar so it will work in f1. There is how more stuff that works in nascar been planned for the tv presentation this year.

    11. Scarbs, that’s hilarious.
      Horner wakes up, spewing politics like a true aristocrat.

    Comments are closed.