Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, 2019

Verstappen says Hamilton never had “pressure” from team mate

2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has issued a challenge to Lewis Hamilton by claiming the five-times world champion hasn’t faced “big pressure” from a team mate.

But Hamilton insists he would be prepared to accept Verstappen as a team mate at Mercedes.

In an interview with Motorsport magazine, Verstappen said Hamilton has “never really had big pressure from his team mates”.

Verstappen pointed to Hamilton’s 2016 championship defeat to team mate Nico Rosberg, pointing at that although an engine failure in Malaysia cost Hamilton dearly “after the summer break there were a few poor starts and stuff where he lost first place”.

Mercedes is yet to confirm the identity of Hamilton’s team mate for the 2020 F1 season as Valtteri Bottas’s contract expires at the end of this season. Speaking to journalists at the Hungaroring yesterday, Hamilton said he would “have no problem” with Verstappen joining him at the team.

“As I’ve said before I like working with Valtteri. I don’t know how that dynamic would work for the team, I’m not saying it would not. I see positives and potential negatives.

“Obviously there’s always positives and negatives with different people you end up working with but I have no opinion towards it. In some ways it works well for me because people at the moment write, I see stories of ‘we’ve got different cars’ so that’s the only way and so that gives me an opportunity that’s not the case.”

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2019
Hamilton says he’d take Verstappen on at Mercedes
Verstappen and Hamilton have won the last seven races between them, but two of the last three have gone to the Red Bull driver. Hamilton said he expects to face a strong challenge from his rival over the coming races.

“I think he’s done a great job and they have clearly done a great job in quite a few of the races now. In the last one we didn’t do such a great job, we did a pretty bad job so it made their job look even better.

“But nonetheless I think we’ve got to continue to focus on ourselves and not be distracted by focusing on others. I think they’ll be probably quick here and there’ll be places like Singapore where they’ll probably be strong.

“They are in general, collectively, slowly catching up. It’s easier to catch up I would say than it is to stay ahead, to be the leader, in many different aspects. But it’s great to see them progressing. We want the competition so we’ll be ready for the fight whatever the case.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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146 comments on “Verstappen says Hamilton never had “pressure” from team mate”

  1. Mouth watering prospect. Lewis vs Max in Mercedes. I hazard a bet Max would be there about with Lewis, and that is instant spectacle. Kinda like Lewis vs Nico almost was.

    1. Wasn’t much of a competition as niki and toto clearly wanted the championship shared rather than earned. Nico did the correct thing in walking away since he clearly didn’t win the championship but gifted it.

      1. Such salty tears

      2. 100% Correct. The most disgraceful episode ever in F1 WDC’s history.

  2. Hamilton has had 3 x WDC for teammates, Verstappen = 0 WDC teammates.

    1. Still, doesn’t mean anything. VER might beat HAM easily. See RIC vs. VET in 2014. Also, I reckon VER has an age advantage now that HAM reached the age when he cannot get faster.

      1. @mg1982
        Having a 2 time world champ as a team mate on your debut doesn;t mean anything?

        1. Why did i bother reply to you. completely forgot it was you. My bad, you are right. It doesn’t mean anything. In-fact, Max will wash Lewis.

      2. Keep telling yourself that.

      3. Its the car thats moving and not the driver. They change the cars annually. This is not athletics!

    2. It’s more complicated than that.

      Alonso is normally no joke, but he underperformed massively in 2007 (arguably the worst season of Alonso’s career, with only his defeat to Trulli in 2004 and his implosion at the hands of Vettel in the second half of 2012 being on par with that) because of McLaren’s very heavy focus on Hamilton. Much of the pressure was taken off him by the team, only to be re-imposed upon him by their incompetence and his lack of pace (and lack of luck) in Brazil.
      The only time Hamilton didn’t destroy Button was when he himself underperformed massively. His pace was never in question, winning just as many races as Button, but his seven collisions with Massa (only one of which was Massa’s fault) and his mental state being best described as tragicomic destroyed his season.
      As for Rosberg… yeah, let’s be real, the only reason he ever received any sort of challenge from Nico was when his car was failing (2013 with the hole in his chassis that he did 6 races with, 2014, 2016) or Rosberg was doing shady or straight-up idiotic things to put himself on top (2014).
      Bottas and Kovalainen aren’t even worth mentioning.

      Verstappen himself may have a struggling teammate right now, but discounting Alonso, Ricciardo was significantly better than any of Hamilton’s past and present teammates and provided a considerable challenge for Max.

      1. Cmon man… Lewis was a rookie in 2007 vs a 2xWDC and arguably one of the best drivers ever. Give Lewis some credit. Max should be drug tested or we should just discount his baseless sentence because he was a toddler in 2007.

        1. @jcost In 2007 Lewis was rookie but that was already his 7th season in car racing. Max was rookie in his second season car racing.

      2. So in Alonso’s worst season he finished equal on points with Lewis…. What does that say? Haha

        Yes yes… I know.. It doesn’t tell the entire story. 2007 was a one off, Alonso imploded for reason that we hope to find out at some stage.

        Lewis has nothing to prove right now. Having a team mate like Max will give him a challenge that I feel he is craving. In relative terms, it’s becoming way to easy for Lewis. It will be great for the sport if Lewis is paired with Max.

        Don’t hold your beer… It ain’t happening. Mercedes aren’t paying Lewis 50 million or whatever a year to get beaten.

        1. “Alonso’s worst season” says who?
          I NEVER heard that from anyone before, mind you.
          Alonso was as competitive as always in ’07. Hamilton is the one that was much more competitive than expected and than Alonso’s team mates up to that point and caught him off guard.

          Today people just remember Ron Dennis’s lines from China, but Alonso was struggling to keep up long before everything imploded around him. Hamilton was and is overall faster than him. He got his act together and defeated Hamilton fair and square on Spa and Monza. But then came Japan and he couldn’t keep up with Hamilton’s pace and crashed and his chances were pretty much done there.

          If anyone is being flattered on this 109×109 draw, is Alonso, not Hamilton, who certainly grew more from that season on than Alonso.

      3. @pamphlet I don’t agree with you about Alonso in the second half of 2012. He was taken out by Grosjean in Belgium, had an anti-roll bar failure in Q3 at the race Ferrari was most competitive in, losing him a potential win and definite second place in the race, after which he made a great recovery drive to third. In Singapore, Abu Dhabi and India, he maximized the package, while you could argue he was at fault for the start incident in Japan and was out-qualified by Massa in Austin and Brazil, but given that those were the first times all season Massa was quicker all season, everybody is allowed a few off days a season.

      4. The only time Hamilton didn’t destroy Button was when he himself underperformed massively. His pace was never in question, winning just as many races as Button

        On what planet did Hamilton destroy Button??? Honestly, I’m so sick of this nonsense.

        In 2010 Button and Hamilton were evenly matched. Hamilton won 1 more race than Button – that was the entire difference. Anyone who says that Hamilton destroyed Button in 2010 clearly didn’t watch the 2010 season.

        In 2011 we all know Button beat Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton had a bad season but Button also had a great season – beating not only Hamilton, but Alonso, Webber and everyone else bar Vettel.

        In 2012 Button had a shocker and Hamilton clearly beat him, no doubt. But I’ll just point out (like Hamilton fans like to about the 2011 season) Button won just as many races as Hamilton in 2012, even though he had a bad season.

        Anyone who looks back at the 2010-2012 seasons and thinks Hamilton destroyed ANYONE clearly has never seen the 2010-2012 seasons.

        Get a clue.

        1. Apologies for the bold in the comment above, not sure how that happened!

        2. And how many races did Button lose due to reliability issues again ?

          Button winning the same number of races and finishing the season 2 points behind is one of the best jokes ever.

          One who takes a look at the standing will conclude that they were highly similar during the season and that can’t be farther away from the truth.

        3. Well side stepping their qualy score (7 – 1 in Hamiltons favour)

          Button won just as many races as Hamilton in 2012, even though he had a bad season.

          Well for starters he didn’t. Hamilton won 4 to Buttons 3. Now given Hamilton had all but wrapped up the win in Brazil when Hulkenberg hit him it really should have been 5 – 2, Then you look at Spain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and a win scoreline of 8 – 2 is not an unreasonable reflection of their actual driver performance in 2012.

          Also this and not to mention Button getting lapped by Hamilton with no mechanical issues in Canada. Getting lapped by your teammate on pure pace is pretty dire.

    3. Max doesn’t remember Alonso in 2007, he is too young.

      1. Laughed at that :)

        Seriously, if we are talking abut the Mercedes era in which HAM has been so dominant, I do rate RIC higher than either Rosberg or Bottas so there is some merit to what VER is saying

        1. Yeah, the same danny ric who were very much outscoring Maxi-boy at red bull, before they decided to ..you know..make the team hierarchy clearer.
          Lol, verstappen should definitely keep his mouth shut.

          1. I think you missed a season

        2. Max was favoured even while RIC still beat him.

          Not sure why they dont like Auzzies in that team

          1. If they didn’t like “Auzzies” why would they employ them in the first place?

      2. @johnmilk If he’s 21 now, in 2007 he was 9 yrs old….

        But I have heard him say that he liked watching Alonso growing up, as he thought Fernando was the best all-round driver back then. I guess he didn’t think much of Lewis back then either.

    4. Lewis, as a rookie, had Fernando Alonso as his team mate…

  3. Hamilton has had a stronger set of teammates than most champions. In fact he’s had tougher teammates than Schumacher or Vettel.

    1. +1 Alonso, Button and Nico all either were WDC or won WDC while competing against Lewis in same team. Not sure what Max is saying here.

    2. Uh, no?

      Even a near-blind Piquet, whom Schumacher convincingly matched in his rookie half-season and would’ve beaten without his engine failure in Japan, was significantly better than all but one of Hamilton’s teammates (Alonso, himself having an awful season in 2007 because of McLaren heavily favoring Hamilton). The same goes for Barrichello, even with him being mistreated massively by Ferrari.
      In Vettel’s case, Webber obliterated Rosberg in 2006 yet only provided a challenge on pure pace when Vettel couldn’t drive the car (2012, Newey’s fault due to the awful exhaust design which they went on to change for the second half). Ricciardo, whom Verstappen also had as a teammate, would provide a good challenge to Vettel even in his prime, let alone in 2014 when Vettel had the same issues with driving the car as Gasly does now, and like Piquet, he’s much better than every teammate Hamilton’s had bar Alonso.

      1. Uh, yes.

        Schumacher faced Piquet for what, 5 races? And that Piquet was in the last season of his career and clearly was not as good after his accident.

        An experienced prime Webber outscored a ROOKIE Rosberg 7 points to 4, in a car that was extremely unreliable for both drivers. Not at all an accurate way to say who the better driver was.

        Barrichello was an average number 2 driver, Massa level, Coulthard level, Webber level, Bottas level. Nothing special. Not champion material.

        Ricciardo is Rosberg/Button level. Good enough for 1 championship but won’t dominate F1.

        McLaren favoured Alonso in the first half of the 2007 and Hamilton in the second half. Overall they both got their fair share of favouritism.

        1. Spot on, McLaren supported Alonso during the first half of the season, despite all of the support, Hamilton was still leading Alonso in the championship before Alonso threw his toys out in Hungary

          1. ALO through his toys after HAM blocked him on his hot lap despite team orders to let him through.
            Let’s not distort facts – HAM initiated it the confrontation.

        2. Barrichello was an average number 2 driver, Massa level, Coulthard level, Webber level, Bottas level. Nothing special. Not champion material.

          Barrichello was a better driver than Rosberg on any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Trying to talk up Rosberg to make Hamilton look good will not change that fact.

          1. I’m a big fan of barrichello, but this is unsupportable nonsense. rosberg was an excellent driver and took his chance to be world champion. this immediately elevates him above the vast majority of excellent drivers. the whole name of the game is scoring points to win titles. so (with reference to barrichello) no amount of plucky drives to the podium, or inconsistent flashes of brilliance to win the odd race (when the title race is already over) will make up for that. even if you’re just talking on pace (not the best metric, as i’ve made clear), rosberg was phenomenally quick – outqualifying hamilton in 2014 is a staggering achievement.

          2. Maybe it’s you talking up Rubens to make Lewis look bad because Nico was WDC when he was Lewis team mate despite the Malaysia DNF costing him a win and ultimately handing Nico the WDC.

          3. Barrichello was not championship material. He was there to be Schumacher’s puppy. Rosberg was given equal status with Hamilton and they were allowed to fight each other and play mind games. Barrichello was there to be an obedient number 2, like Bottas right now or Webber back at Red Bull. Barrichello was a decent driver but he didn’t have the champions mindset.

      2. You can say what you will about Schumacher, but one thing he never had was even a mediocre teammate. They were all contracted to work for him as domestiques. The same with Vettel. One of the two decent teammates he has had sent him packing and it looks like the second one will too.

        1. Rosberg was super quick – like it or not he is definitely one of the fastest qualifiers in F1 history. Who knew that before 2014!!

          But despite his one lap pace, Rosberg was not a great race driver. His race craft was NOT good – in fact it was pretty bad. He was more or less a match for Hamilton on 1 lap pace, but in race craft he couldn’t hold a candle to Hamilton.

      3. McLaren weren’t favouring Hamilton. If anything it was the other way round. Hamilton was called in early in Australia and Monaco to give Alonso the advantage, and HAM wasn’t given the lighter fuel load in qualifying until Canada, where he destroyed Alonso.

        I don’t understand why people lie to twist the narrative.

  4. I understand where Max is coming from. Fair enough Hamilton had Alonso, Button and Rosberg to contend with. But Max had to deal with much bigger threats in the likes of Gasly, Kyvat and Sainz.
    Still, easily remedied. Max contract up, he signs for Mercedes. I’m sure Merc will be prepared for a Max v Ham fireworks for a season as the probable result will be at least a decade worth of WDC/WCCs for the team.

    1. @riptide I really really hope that was sarcasm

    2. @riptide
      +1000 I see what you did there.

    3. @riptide nice. and actually, when you think about it bottas is superior to any of max’s team mates (except ricciardo) and kovalainen probably the equal of all except sainz. max is drunk.

      1. I am NOT a Verstappen fan at all, but he would definitely give Hamilton a run for his money. If it did happen, I would love to see Hamilton beat Verstappen, even though I’m not a Hamilton fan either.

        The fact is that Hamilton has been MASSIVELY flattered by the Merc cars since 2014. This is simply a fact. Just look at his results BEFORE he got into some of the most dominant cars in F1 history. Since he won his WDC in 2008 Hamilton never finished higher than 4th in the WDC despite driving cars that were championship contenders in some of those years with his team mate finishing WDC runner up in one of those years driving the same car.

        2009 – 5th
        2010 – 4th
        2011 – 5th
        2012 – 4th
        2013 – 4th
        2014 – 1st
        2015 – 1st
        2016 – 2nd
        2017 – 1st
        2018 – 1st

        So all of a sudden Hamilton goes from no higher than 4th to a run of 1st’s and 2nd’s driving against the same drivers he could never beat for 5 years.

        Hamilton is a great driver no doubt, but history and stats show us that there is no way at all he would be a current 5 x WDC if his rivals had equally competitive machinery since 2014.

        All we ever hear about Button and Vettel is that they only won their WDC’s because of superior machinery despite neither Vettel or especially Button every having any sort of car advantage anywhere near the likes that Hamilton has enjoyed for years.

        1. I could not agree with you more.
          Good work – you presented the facts.

          1. Yes, Nigel, I Nathan agree with you that Nick is correct.

            Lmao.

  5. +1000, i see what you did there loool

    1. Everyone could see what maxi boy did: he talked BS.

  6. Rosberg’s WDC title is the biggest fraud in sport history, we all know that.

    1. Why? Is it really any more fraudulent than other WDCs?

      1. Which one is more fraudulent ?

        1. That’s what I’m saying. It wasn’t.

          1. To answer your question : “Is it really any more fraudulent than other WDCs?” — Yes

    2. it still hurts?

      1. Sure it did.
        Like all the robberies.

        1. what?

    3. I’m far from a fan of his, but I would argue that Rosberg’s was one of the most intelligent title wins I’ve seen. He made all the correct career moves to get himself into the best car. He was dominant in the first four races then had a difficult mid-season but had the strength of mind to hit back with three crucial wins. He was lucky with Hamilton’s engine blowout in Malaysia, but that’s part of sport. He then maturely followed him home in the last four races to take the title.

      He should be praised, not criticised for having the best car and for being close enough to an exceptional team-mate to pick up the pieces when it went wrong for him.

      1. Agreed…I still don’t get the hate and criticism of the guy….and I am a Ham fan….He did the work won the WDC..no one is gonna take that away from him. Putting that aside, it would be an interesting pair up to see Max and Ham….Peak and approaching peak….The clash would be nuclear.

      2. It wasn’t just an engine blowout in Malaysia though? I don’t understand this seriously selective memory of 2016. Hamilton had a load of penalties from engine and car components failing, having to start at the back of the grid in both China and Belgium. If Nico didn’t win the world championship that year considering he had no technical problems and in equal machinery then he would have been a laughing stock. Hamilton still finished just 5 points shy and with the most wins after all of that. Every team principal put Hamilton as their best driver in 2016 Nico only made 3rd in their driver ratings which says it all.

        But aside from that all this is really, is that Max is massively frustrated that he is stuck at Red Bull for the forseeable future. Yes he may be winning races, but I can’t really see any chance they’ll be fighting for titles anytime soon.

        1. It’s not selective memory (certainly on my part). Hamilton is the better driver, no question; but I admire Rosberg for getting close enough to pick up the pieces and doing exactly what he needed to do to win the title. I’ll always remember Japan 2016 (the race after Malaysia), when Rosberg still needed a win to be sure of the title and he blew Hamilton away. As I say, Hamilton was, is and always will be the better driver of the two, but Rosberg did precisely enough to steal a title when the luck fell his way.

        2. @ben-n Thank you for talking some sense. Rosberg is not the second coming, but he was close enough to Hamilton so that if anything happened to Hamilton, Rosberg had a shot.

          @jammyb – Selective memory is assuming that 2016 was the only season that ever happened and poor, poor Hamilton had all the bad luck.
          Rosberg had more DNFs in 2013 and 2015. No one mentions how 2015 might have played out if Rosberg hadn’t had those DNFs.
          Hamilton’s first title (2008) benefited from Alonso “winning” Singapore instead of Massa (leading), which resulted in an 8pt swing in Hamilton’s favor. (Massa 1st, Ham 2nd to Ham 3rd, Massa out of points. Yet this isn’t brought up every single time someone mentions Hamilton’s titles.

          Do you know why? Because that’s how racing works. That’s how life works. You do your best with what you can control and then you react to everything you can’t. Hamilton will go down as one of the best, if not THE best, of F1 drivers ever. Ever. If he stopped now, he would be in that conversation. And when he has all the records, even more so.

          So given that, if a driver can beat him over a season, that driver deserves a little credit. Not a lot, maybe. And Rosberg is not in the Pantheon or Valhalla or whatever. But holy cow, take of your blinders and realize that other drivers are good too. And when you realize that, Hamilton becomes even better in comparison because over his career he’s beaten them all.

          1. Let’s gloss over that Spa penalty which was a huge swing too against Hamilton and was a complete joke. There were other dodgy penalties all that year too. The FIA did everything short of black flagging him to make sure Mclaren were punished for 2007.

      3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        2nd August 2019, 12:59

        @ben-n I agree – Nico knew from day 1 that he couldn’t beat Lewis on pace and this was despite him being insanely quick in qualifying. He knew that he had to string the perfect season to have a chance at the championship and some dominoes had to fall his way. Spain was where Nico won the championship – there was no way he could hold off Lewis so he took him out, plain and simple.

        If he hadn’t done that he would not have been a WDC. Nonetheless, it’s hard to look at 2016 and say that Nico was the better driver. Lewis was imperious in 2016 proving that he was in a class of his own as Nico has expressed many times since his retirement.

        Nico took the trophy, Lewis got all the glory. Still Nico deserves full credit for putting up such a fight against Lewis with every weapon at his disposal.

    4. Go back to basement wearing tinfoil hat.

    5. This is dumb. Give the man his credit. Luck in winning World Championships requires a certain level of skill to get to the point where fortune will favour you.

  7. Hamilton caused Alonso to cheat, and eventually move out of Mclaren. Jenson challenged LH, I say that was a very even battle. Hamilton beat Rosberg twice; when he did beat Hamilton he retired because it took too much out of him.

    1. Actually Rosberg was beaten three times by Hamilton. (2013, 2014, 2015)

    2. Hamilton caused Alonso to cheat? What on Earth are you on about? McLaren were cheating anyway thanks to Spygate, and the only reason Alonso felt threatened was because Hamilton was being heavily favored by Ron Dennis and was prioritized for upgrades and the strategy, just like Hakkinen (to Coulthard, Blundell and even Senna‘s detriment) and Senna (to Prost and Berger’s detriment) were before him.

      Button only competed when Hamilton was suffering the brunt of reliability, strategy and pit stop issues (2010, 2012, just like Vettel in those same years and just like Ricciardo in 2018) or when Hamilton was having a literal Gasly year for all the wrong issues (2011, when he still had just as many wins as Button). The same goes for Rosberg as Hamilton suffered immensely from reliability problems in 2013 (literal hole in the chassis), 2014 and especially 2016 (Malaysia, fittingly as that was one of the worst races in Rosberg’s career).

      1. @pamphlet How did Ron Dennis favored Lewis over Alonso ? You do know that McLaren did everything they could to get Alonso ahead of Lewis at every given moment like in Australia by undercutting Lewis, that action alone cost Hamilton the WDC in 2007. Don’t ever go there by saying Ron Dennis favored Lewis cause it never happened.

      2. He obviously felt threatened enough to hold him up in Hungary…

      3. @pamphlet

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Button had more non fault retirements than Hamilton during their time as team mates.

        And once again I love it how you point out that Hamilton had a bad year in 2011 but still won as many races as Button. I also see you failed to extend Button the same courtesy for 2012, where Button had a bad year but also won 3 races, just one less than Hamilton and also had only 1 less podium. So Hamilton gets a pass for 2011 but Button doesn’t get one for 2012??

    3. Downplaying Rosberg’s win because it took so much out of him is pretty ridiculous.

    4. But he lost to ROS like it or not.
      He picked BOT because he knew he could beat him and BOT’s nature is passive. Said he’d drive with anyone but a week later said Alonso would never be his teammate.
      HAM still isn’t speaking to ROS because he ROS didn’t return after beating him but HAM has never given ALO a chance again as he knows he could lose and his only substantial claim to fame is he beat…err tied him. A coward.
      Best car, no competition with anyone other than a weaker teammate for 5 years.
      VER and LEC will expose him. His days are numbered IF Honda or Ferrari get on par.

  8. People forget to read the article… Max wasn’t pointing out to his pre-F1 era, he was pointing out to the 2016 season when Rosberg took the title…it’s litterly in the article.

    We all know Rosberg was just below Hamilton and Bottas waaaayy below

    1. no he wasn’t, 2016 was just an example that he gave, doesn’t mean Max is right, but he wasn’t talking just about 2016

      If Rosberg was way below Hamilton and Bottas, but won a championship and fought much closer to Hamilton than Bottas ever did

    2. How convenient… you start history when it fits your narrative?

    3. I’d be willing to bet that over half the comments on this website (and on most of the internet) come from people who only read the headline and maybe the opening paragraph.

      I’m of the less-popular opinion that team mate comparisons are almost as worthless as comparing drivers in different teams. It’s so easy for a team to favour one driver. Design and develop your car to suit your preferred driver’s driving style, give them the most experienced engineers, give them the best strategy – there are hundreds of small things a team can do to influence the performances of their drivers, and we can’t see most of them.

      So often a driver struggles in one team, then does well in another team, or in the same team a different year.

      Beyond that, the actual regulations may favour one driver more than another. There’s a reason most sports hardly ever change their rules and equipment, doing so can fundamentally change what the sport is.

  9. Rick Brugman
    2nd August 2019, 9:42

    Dieter, Keith, is the title quote from the latest print/digital Motorsport Magazine as it is not in the linked article ?

  10. People can throw a lot of criticism at Lewis Hamilton, but this one doesn’t stick for me. His team-mate list reads Alonso, Kovalainen, Button, Rosberg, Bottas. Three of those are World Champions and the other two are race winners. Granted, Kovalainen didn’t turn out as well as McLaren had hoped, but he was a genuine prospect when he joined in 2008. I’d argue that no driver on the current grid has had such a difficult list of team-mates to beat; with the exception of maybe Raikkonen, (but he didn’t compare too well against Vettel/Alonso) and Ricciardo.

    Say what you like about Lewis Hamilton, but I really don’t think he cares who he has to beat in the car next to him.

    1. Max was talking about the Mercedes era I gather, where his teammates have been Rosberg and Bottas.
      I do rate Rosberg as quite a good driver (Bottas not so much), but I feel Ricciardo is an even stronger teammate.

      1. I still disagree with him. You can only beat what’s put in front of you. Rosberg was a bigger challenge to Hamilton than people care to remember; Hamilton was clearly better, but not by a very big margin. Bottas was a great prospect, highly rated at Williams.

        1. I saw some stats here some time ago and I don’t think I have seen it since…The stat showing the average delta between the drivers on qually pace….Last year Bottas/Ham was the lowest. I am sure Ham v Ros was even lower. There is a reason Ros got so many poles – he wasn’t a slouch behind the wheel and VERY consistent. Can’t say the same for Bottas. Would be good to have those stats again for all the teams.

        2. @ben-n – Yep.

          Over their 4 seasons at Mercedes together, Hamilton outscored Rosberg on average 1.12 points per race.*

          *This is total points over total races finished; so this takes DNFs out. This also does not include the double points in the 2014 final race because that makes zero sense.

          Even if you just go on raw point totals (without the double points), it was 28.5pts difference per season.

          For comparison, during this points era, and over a similar 4-year period… Webber trailed Vettel on average 137 points per season. Or by 5.5pts per race–when accounting for DNFs.

      2. I agree, but Max did also lose to Ricciardo twice, so, this seems like quite a dumb thing to say, it’s only a positive to have had great teammates if you, yknow, beat them.

  11. No Max, no. Hamilton has been paired up with Alonso, Button and Rosberg. His other F1 teammates (Kovalainen and Bottas) are both race winners. You can’t possibly say he “hasn’t faced “big pressure” from a team mate”.

    1. Button is the least talented world champion in motorsport history and Nico Rosberg is a number two driver that any top 20 driver in the sport’s history would’ve beaten like a red-headed stepchild. The fact that Hamilton faced pressure at any point from either of them just shows how valueless all his current overpowered-Mercedes-fueled achievements really are.

      1. You mean like Schumacher spanked Rosberg when he was teammate at Mercedes?

        Oh.

        Oh.

        Pull another one.

        1. @stopitrawr
          Or Nico Rosberg, the guy who lost to Mark Webber as his teammate.

          1. @kingshark

            This has already been debunked above but Webber was in his 5th F1 season, Rosberg was a rookie. Webber had 3 points-scoring finishes, Rosberg had 2. And the cars were extremely unreliable (Webber retired 11 times, Rosberg 9 times, in an 18 race season), making comparisons difficult. They only both finished in the same race 4 times.

            If you’re simply trying to point out that the above MSC-ROS comparison is not fair, fine. But this WEB-ROS comparison either points out that Webber isn’t great or Rosberg wasn’t bad.

        2. Jonathan Edwards
          2nd August 2019, 23:32

          Rosberg was a lot better than many think, but Schumacher was obviously past his prime. In his 40’s, back in F1 after suffering a neck fracture, yeah, Rosberg beat him. Against 90’s Schumacher, Nico wouldn’t have a chance.

    2. Max is disrespecting some great drivers, Alonso for sure did not like this and don’t come at me with “Mercedes era” nonsense.

  12. Instead of talking about how this remark is not correct towards Hamilton, can we at least see this as a stare-down in F1.
    Currently it seems Hamilton is in a weak state of mind, there is pressure from behind from another team with behind the steering wheel a hard fighting driver. The psychological games from Lewis are now being thrown back by Verstappen. “So you think you are the fastest, huh? We’ll see about that!” taunting in the hope Lewis is going to make mistakes to prove he is the best.
    The reply for Hamilton is in line. He said he wouldn’t mind having Verstappen next to him in the garage, inviting Max for a real race where the toughest one wins.
    This whole conversation isn’t about contracts or who is saying the truth, it’s the drivers mocking and taunting each other to let the games begin. As Hamilton starts up his computer the first thing he sees now is: “A new challenger approaches!”

    1. This has been started however by Horner saying Verstappen is currently the fastest driver on grid.

      1. So do you think @moustachoe that means the team feel they need to talk up Verstappen (‘s morale?) with him being in a now winning, but not WDC level yet car – I mean, sure, Hamilton isn’t at his best, and wasn’t either last race, but ahm, a flu or something tends to be over soon, like at the next race, so it all seems a bit ridiculous, like showing Max isn’t feeling confident enough to just let his racing do the work.

        1. I don’t think it’s to boost Verstappen, but to demoralize Hamilton. The fact that Hamilton wanted to retire the car in Germany, seems he can’t keep his head if he isn’t in a winning position. Those little cracks in personality are great for rivals to amplify.
          The reason i stated Horner, is because in the interview there was an attack on Hamilton for Verstappen to beat him on track.

          “As the form driver, he is,” said Horner. “As the driver in the form of his life, arguably over the past 12 months, he’s been the best driver in the world.
          “How do I substantiate that? He’s not in the best car. But when you look at the results he’s got out of that car since Montreal last year, some of the performances he’s put in, he’s made virtually zero mistakes in that period.
          “It’s only natural that there’s always the next generation coming. Lewis has got the benefit of experience, he’s still extremely quick, he’s in the best car, in a very well-oiled machine.”
          “Max is very much the coming man. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for the sport to see those guys go head-to-head?”
          Horner said he would “absolutely back Max” to come out on top in the same machinery as Hamilton, who has won four of his five world titles since joining Mercedes.

          1. Anyone else wondering why Horner is talking up a head-to-head between Lewis and Red Bull’s #1 driver “in the same machinery”. Surely he doesn’t think Lewis would consider a move to Red Bull, and equally why would he encourage Max to think about leaving Red Bull to join Lewis, whether at Mercedes or Ferrari?

          2. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

            Once Max has the experience, and teammate calibre Lewis has had, then we can talk of Max as the best driver in the sport.

    2. @moustacho – good viewpoint. Nice to have this sort of a showdown instead of drivers exchanging politically-correct platitudes, about how much they respect the other guy.

    3. “Currently it seems Hamilton is in a weak state of mind, there is pressure from behind from another team with behind the steering wheel a hard fighting driver. ”

      Wow, one bad race and we’re back to the, “Lewis is mentally weak”?

      Unless i’m looking at something different, but in the last 21 races, Lewis has won 15 and been off the podium 3 times. He has a 41 points lead and you think based on Germany, he’s in a weak state of mind? Wow!

      1. @kgn11 You sir, are bending my wording. I do say he was last weekend in a weak state of mind, if you compare it to other weekends. I don’t say Lewis is mentally weak. Don’t change an argument in your favor by changing the words, that’s just keyboard warrior behaviour.

        To clarify, Hamilton is vulnerable right now. You can see it in the interviews. It is dirty play, but you have to use it as a rival if you want to play the mindgames. And I think it’s very delightfull to see. Rivalry, bold and with risks on and around the track.

        1. Dude, he literally quoted you. He is referring to what YOU said. Where has he bended anything?

          firstly, nothing in your original message would make anyone believe you only meant that weekend, you’re back peddling now with new information.

          Secondly, my guy quoted you so much, “weak state of mind” YOU said that. Around 80% of his reply is your words, LOL.

          Do you even know what you said?

          1. What does “currently” mean in your opinion?

            And halfway in the reacting post it changes to “Lewis is mentally weak”. That is not something I said, not at all.

            And caps locking words doesn’t make your reply more threatening. Just being on loose wheels. Please keep a discussion clean.

          2. If you’re going to respond to select things in someone’s reply, its not going to be a discussion. I ask again, where is he bending your words? Using caps is meant to draw your attention, not meant to threaten you, it was my vain attempt to make it clear that it is you who said these things. But it is apparent I failed. The “Lewis is mentally weak” is a mantra that some f1 fans propagate, you alluded to it in your post. How did you allude to it? you said he is in a weak state of mind. Guy makes a point that he has one bad day, and you determine he is in a weak state of mind. Since its not adding up for you, look up the definition of the word mental. weak state of mind and mentally weak is the same thing. I ask one last time, How has he bended your words?

          3. You want a full reply? Here comes a full reply, without bold keywords.

            So, KGN11 bends the words that he presumes I think Hamilton is this season in a weak state of mind. “Wow, one bad race and we’re back to the, “Lewis is mentally weak”?”
            As stated I have never said he is ‘overall’ in a weak position, but he seems to be last weekend and this weekend. The correct phrase might be: a weaker state of mind, so I will give you guys that one.
            I like the fact that you totally forget about your first point. “firstly, nothing in your original message would make anyone believe you only meant that weekend, you’re back peddling now with new information. It seems you did miss the currently phrasing.

            But instead of staying in repeat @gufdamm , what is the point you are trying to make? It wasn’t about Hamilton being weak, it was about the show that’s going on off-track.
            My point is that the psychological part of the sport is opened together with the fysical part on track. Verstappen, Leclerc and Hamilton are ready to get their fists up and fight. That’s just going to be a lot of fun the rest of the season.

        2. “Instead of talking about how this remark is not correct towards Hamilton, can we at least see this as a stare-down in F1.
          Currently it seems Hamilton is in a weak state of mind, there is pressure from behind from another team with behind the steering wheel a hard fighting driver. The psychological games from Lewis are now being thrown back by Verstappen”

          Sorry, where in that did you mention last weekend?

          1. @kgn11 repeated your mate above. Do you see the term “currently” or am I the one who is blind?

        3. “To clarify, Hamilton is vulnerable right now. You can see it in the interviews.”

          Sorry, but what interviews have you watching? Vulnerable to who? Why is he?

      2. Prisoners of the moment

  13. Well Hamilton has spend his whole career proving people wrong and beating World Champion team mates (Alonso, Button, Rosberg). Max should learn to respect a multiple World Champion and learn from him as much as possible. Max and Lewis are at different stages of their careers (different Era drivers) with Lewis closer to Retirement and Max still relatively very new.

    1. Actually Max showing no respect is why I like him. It’s exactly the attitude Hamilton had in 2007.

      1. Except Hamilton never openly disrespected Alonso like that.

        1. Why did he hold ALO up on ALO’s hot lap in Hungary against team orders to let him through??
          He’s a brat just like VER.

      2. I think he’s showing respect for Hamilton still, just not for Bottas or Rosberg. (I tend to agree he’s forgotten Alonso and is talking about the Mercedes era only). That’s why he’s issuing the challenge. I’m sure any battle would be extremely close. I’d be surprised if it happened with Ocon more or less promised the seat at Mercedes, but who knows.

  14. …Because Gasly is really pushing you weekend after weekend, right max?

    If you’ve been a team mate to Alonso and not been shown up completely (like Fisichella, Piquet JR, Massa, Raikkonen, Vandoorne etc), you’ve done pretty well.

    Sure, Button and Rosberg will never go down in the same category as the multiple title winners and all-time greats, but they were hardly journeyman drivers.

    I think Ferrari should grow a pair of balls and sign them both on. Yeah, there’ll be sparks, but man it’ll be entertaining!

    1. That would be great, but there’s no way they’re going to push Leclerc out.

      I can see Hamilton to Ferrari, Verstappen to Mercedes and Vettel back to Red Bull however…

      1. I can’t this happening in this reality….Alternative universes maybe but not this one. Ham will retire after Merc…Vettel after Ferrari and Max will be in either teams…that sounds more probable.

  15. No Ham is a loyal Merc man.After hitting 10 wdc he may try a little of the Ferrari spice.

  16. I doubt Max totally believes this. I think he’s trying to say ‘come on then, prove me wrong, take me as a teammate and see if you can win’ just to try and get a move to Mercedes.

  17. Me thinks the man doth protest too much

  18. Verstappen would be the winner if he went to Mercedes as he’ll be up against the best of the present era, even if loses, he’ll learn why and end up destroying the rest of the field.

    Hamilton already made comments about Max losing points in a car that is capable of wins, where if it was him or Alonso Red bull would’ve been better off.

    These little tid bits of advice is finally coming to fruition for Red Bull and Max. The last lesson for Max is to be saddled with the ultimate master in the present era.

    Hamilton’s journey and accomplishments are already cemented who takes the mantle going forward…

  19. Max is thinking smart, or consulting a sports shrink or getting excellent advice; he has started picking mind games, and it might just pay-off as he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by playing mind games with LH

  20. Lewis made mistakes in Germany. Perfect time for some mindgames to put more pressure on Lewis.

    1. Max also made mistakes in Germany?

  21. Max doing an open application for Bottas’ seat. BOT’s days are number. Great guy, great driver, but the idea of a one in one battle between Verstappen and Hamilton excites me.

    Give the young lion a seat next to the master, hone his skills and absorb experience and watch the future of F1 unfold.

    I feel for Leclerc, I don’t think teaming up with Vettel makes him a better driver.

  22. It’s a lose-lose situation for Hamilton if Verstappen went to Mercedes. If Hamilton beats him it’ll only be because its ‘hamiltons team’, ‘car designed around him’ – the usual excuses.

  23. I honestly thought the quote was the other way around and was going to say “To be fair Lewis, Max did have one decent teammate once”.

    Then I saw it was Max referring to Lewis. In which case, No Max, No. Lewis has been competing with WDC winning drivers since you were 9 years old. Pressure from teammates is something he’s been subject to nearly every season of his career. Has hasn’t always won out, but he’s still standing, multiple WDC titles later. Maybe you can trash talk when you’ve got close to such a level?

    Max is a talented, potential multiple WDC driver, but doesn’t give the right to talk nonsense, sorry. Especially when their teammate is literally, complete rubbish.

  24. Seriously does anyone actually believe that Mercedes would even consider putting a Prima Donna like Max in their team while the have Hamilton there?

    It’s would be an even worse and unmanageable pairing than KMag and Grosjean.

    Not even worth talking about because Mercedes doesn’t need the sort of trouble that would bring.

  25. Mind games to catch Bottas… interesting

    1. Thats how I read it as well. This isn’t about Hamilton at all, Max knows he’s too far ahead however Bottas is well within reach and after his disasterous German GP he’s hitting him when he’s down. It’s all fun and games :)

  26. I think Verstappen’s only half right. HAM’s had some of the strongest team-mates out there, but I’d say only really fought with two of them.

    No doubting Hamilton’s supremely talented but actually stressed by a team-mate? Alonso, I’d say so. Rosberg, due to technical failure. Other than that, he blew Kovalainen away and seemed to have a small and slender edge over Button & Bottas. They run him close but over a season he always seems to have just a bit extra.

    Only 07 & 16 shows he can get a little rattled when having to fight a strong team-mate – drivers that seem to have the same edge as him. How he’d fair against Verstappen, an on form Leclerc or Vettel or Ricciardo would be kinda interesting – to see if they’re as good as they think they are and if Hamilton’s as good as he thinks he is. As much as I like some of the other drivers I don’t rate their chances of besting him.

  27. Mercedes unwillingness to put a strong driver next to Hamilton, since Rosberg left, makes me think less of the team. I do understand from a strategic point of view that it makes sense to have a better driver and a supporting driver–even if not officially no1 and no2. I don’t think Hamilton is weak or wouldn’t rise to a challenge, but when you’ve won 4 WDCs for a team and you are one of the best drivers ever, it makes sense why the team would defer to him.

    But McLaren actually did this, when they didn’t have to do it (Prost Senna). And the result was compelling. And both drivers are seen as greats still. And if Merc brought in someone like Max or Seb, and next year the challenge from the second team was too strong, they could declare team orders when they need and still win titles.

    They don’t care and don’t need to care about my respect level for the team. But watching runaway season after runaway season is not interesting. At least have the guts to bring in another star driver and let us see who the best is. If it’s still Hamilton, then, boom, his reputation will be beyond reproach. No one will be able to say “he had the best car every year in F1.” If the other guy (Max, Dan, etc) wins, then, boom, you have someone else to lean on. If it was Seb, you can have these two titans duke it out for a few years until they retire. I hate to use the cliché that is also a pun here, but it is a win-win(-win?) situation.

    1. Nice story. Why is it in Mercedes interest to placate Hamilton? He is coming to the end of his career, so who is going to go up against Leclerc and Max in the future in the Merc? Secondly when that happens the Mercs can probably say goodbye to regular WDCs and WCCs once Ham goes. And thirdly, you really think Mercedes F1 want this part of their history to go down as they can only win WDCs with Hamilton behind the wheel; except on one occasion when the Mercedes car let him down?
      Merc have said in the past that everyone would be interested in Max, Ham has said he has no problem with him as a teammate (In the same way Seb and Ham had no problem with each other in the past when the Ham after a RB story broke back in the day.) So all Max has to do is say if a Merc seat is available I’ll have it. If they renege and say no, then Max proves the Merc and Ham are full of hot air. If they say yes then he gets the best car on the grid and they get arguably the best driver on the grid that probably could match Hams career stats.. The balls in Max’s court. But you and I know he won’t do that. And we all know Max will probably come out with some nonsense that he is loyal to RB; and anyway he’s been assured the RB is gonna come good some day.

      1. @riptide – I’ll try to give my thoughts in response to your questions, but it is a bit hard to follow.

        Why is it in Mercedes interest to placate Hamilton? He is coming to the end of his career, so who is going to go up against Leclerc and Max in the future in the Merc?

        It is in Mercedes interest because Hamilton is either the best driver of the era or one of the best and he is a known quantity. From the team’s perspective I can understand that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to rock the boat or take a risk on someone new. If you have someone that can reliably win titles year after year (and HAM can), you don’t need another driver.

        Merc have said in the past that everyone would be interested in Max, Ham has said he has no problem with him as a teammate…

        Teams say a lot of things, that doesn’t mean they are being honest. Everyone talks about how great Alonso is, but no top team has offered him a seat.

        So all Max has to do is say if a Merc seat is available I’ll have it. … The balls in Max’s court. But you and I know he won’t do that.

        Perhaps Max could say this in private to Toto, but he cannot say it publicly as it would hurt his negotiation position at RBR. And even saying it to Merc would hurt that negotiation position. Granted, if I were Max, I’d tell Merc that I want the seat and I’ll take a pay cut the first year or two to get it. But that’s not reality.
        I don’t think the ball is in Max’s court, I think it is up to Merc. If they decide to keep Bottas, then it doesn’t matter. If they decide the seat is open, then a lot of people might express interest.
        And I don’t think Max would turn up his nose. Maybe he would, but it isn’t so clear cut to me.

        1. @riptide – Also, on the HAM coming to the end of his career part. I’m sure that is a consideration for the team to keep in mind but I don’t think he’s retiring any time soon. I could see him going another 4-5years easy. So, two things:

          1. They have plenty of time (I think) to snag a replacement if they want, that isn’t a big pressure. I just want to see good racing, so I’d love to see a great driver next to Hamilton.
          2. Who knows if Merc will stay in the sport once 2024 rolls around. They could be gone in 2021 for all we know. Probably not, but if the winds blow the wrong way, maybe they don’t want to stick around for a non-winning season (should one ever happen).

  28. Just reading the Telegraph uk :
    “Lewis has won many championships, but that doesn’t define ‘great’,” he argues. “He’s undoubtedly one of the best who has ever done it. But really, to say that he’s the best of his generation? I don’t know. Maybe it’s Fernando Alonso. He could have won seven, eight world titles, if he had been at the right team.”

    1. 2019. ‘I could have won seven, eight world titles, if I had been in the right team.’ Fernando Alonso.
      2029. ‘I could have won seven, eight world titles, if I had been in the right team.’ Max Verstappen.

  29. Neither Verstappen did. Kvyat was passed out of team to make Verstappen live easier.

    1. have we all forgotten that when newish drivers with talent come in they are very good. but how many have the longevity. Lewis was the king of late breakers… pulling off fantastic over takes. his wheel to wheel racing craft is exceptional. some of his drives over many seasons have been sublime. he has also been a championship contender (and winner) for more seasons i think than most other drivers on the grid in present history. he also has the most poles. many track records… car or not he gets the job done. max needs to grow up and see reality. his team mates have not been champions nor on the edge of your seat racers with ricci as exception. but we all know how red bull favor 1 driver over another. sure max may be a a champion 1 day. but have we not seen many racers with similar potential all come to naught over the years??? right now hamilton is the benchmark. and he will be for quite some time. as rosberg once said other drivers dont have lewis as their partners…

  30. Millenials…

  31. Said the guy who said on the radio that his team mate better not screw things over when letting him pass.

  32. NeverElectric
    3rd August 2019, 12:07

    “When a young man gets uppity and challenges his senior to a fight, he gets blinded by the older man’s loincloth.”
    – African Proverb.
    Would be nice to see Max and Lewis in the same car, with the team as fair as possible.

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