Everyone knows Hamilton is quick but his strength is his consistency – Verstappen

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen praised Lewis Hamilton’s consistency after the Mercedes driver set a new record for most wins in Formula 1 in the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Hamilton overtook Michael Schumacher to become the most successful F1 driver of all time yesterday with the 92nd victory of his career.

“Lewis said he keeps pushing because he wants to set [the record] very high because I’ll have to work hard to try and get there,” said Verstappen after the race.

“It’s just an incredible achievement, 92 victories, and I don’t think it stops there. I think it will it will go well over 100. He’s pushing me to go until I’m 40 years old or something.”

“Everybody knows he’s very quick but I think what has been also a very strong point is that he is very consistent and very rarely makes a mistake,” Verstappen added. “And that’s why I think also he got to this number so quick. It’s just very impressive.”

Verstappen has been the only significant challenger to Hamilton’s Mercedes team all season, but has rarely been in a position to challenge for wins.

“You just have to accept the situation we are in because otherwise I think you become a very frustrated person if you don’t accept it,” he said. “So that’s what I did.

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“Every time I come to a grand prix I always try to get the best out of it. And it’s good motivation. I come here, I can enjoy being third or second if I know that I pushed myself to the limit. I pushed the car to the limit and I know that the team did everything they could.

“The guys did a few amazing pit stops, again. Stuff that motivates me but also motivates them. I take my own enjoyment out of that.

“In the end of the day everybody loves winning. That’s why we are here. But if it’s not possible, it’s not possible.”

Verstappen was once tipped to break Sebastian Vettel’s record for being the youngest world champion in Formula 1 history. Hamilton’s continued success has prevented that from happening but Verstappen said he isn’t bothered about missing out on that record.

“At the end of day I don’t think when I’m 40 or 50 years old I’ll care a lot about those kind of things. I just want to look back when I’m at that stage, when I’m 40 or 50, and I look at myself in the mirror and say: ‘Did you get the most out of yourself’? If you can say ‘yes’ then I’m happy about that.

“If that means that you win seven titles or zero… you need a bit of luck for that as well to be at the right team at the right time. Sometimes it doesn’t work out like that. But we’ll see. I still have a few years ahead of me so hopefully things will change.”

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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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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37 comments on “Everyone knows Hamilton is quick but his strength is his consistency – Verstappen”

  1. Well said.
    Consistency is key.

  2. That’s the right mindset. Pushing to the limit and being happy when you know you’ve left everything on the line. Results become irrelevant.
    Results are a bad measure of success anyway, for they are influenced by too many factors one cannot influence.
    I’ve seen many a great driver use this stoic approach – knowingly or unknowingly – to great success.
    Reminds me of Leclerc. Never worried about results. Just focus on the work.
    If you keep trying to improve at that thing you’re doing, results will eventually come as a natural secondary effect of such efforts.

  3. Nice words from Verstappen, even though deep in his heart he knows he would be winning titles with competitive equipment.

    Really classy stuff.

    80 front row starts in the hybrid era certainly helps. When you don’t have to push to get 100% out of the car constantly, naturally you’re going to be more consistent.

    By comparison, Ferrari had 15 front row starts in their dominant era 2000-04. 2003-04 teams had to qualify with the fuel they started on so those two years are skewed, but 2000-02 when it was normal qualifying Ferrari only had 9 front row starts.

    Merecedes have had 10 front row starts 12 races into this season alone!

    What a team! Best team in the history of the sport.

    1. Lewis is a legend. period.

      If i were Mercedes CEO i would be forceful in salary negotiations to Lewis though:
      you want the 8 WDC record? do it for free.

      The Merc car is so dominant that #2 Bottas is clearly ahead of Max. The merc drivers currently have 435 points combined. If it wasn’t LEwis in the seat this year, the Merc pair would still have grabbed 410+ points, which means a certain WDC and WCC.

      2021 is expected to be very similar given the teams mostly focus on 2022 as their biggest chance to break the hierarchy.
      So Merc has 50mln to save (40mln Hamilton salary, vs 10mln sponsormoney that Perez brings) without much risk.
      And wouldn’t it even shine nicer on Merc if they ‘produce’ different world champions. It makes it even more clearly a Merc era than a Lewis era.

      1. @trib4udi Max has more dnfs, and is still in hugging distance to Bottas. Dominant car or not its just a piece of the puzzle ( a largish piece). Would be interesting if Max can go a season without a dnf due to mechanical issues.

        1. and why shouldn’t he be in hugging distance from Bottas? 2nd place awards 18 points, 3rd, 15.
          Hamilton won 8 races out of 12, so most of the time they are 2nd and 3rd. Bottas is opening a “huge” 3 point gap for most of the time.

          The least Verstappen should do, being the good driver that he is, with the 2nd best car and a hopeless team mate, is to be in hugging distance to the lesser driver from the top team.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        26th October 2020, 17:02

        @trib4udi absolutely, Lewis should work for free. All champions really should!!! Of course, we should start by reducing your income to nothing over your lifetime:) People are starving in Africa and other places so the least we can do is to take all your income and feed them.

        1. @freelittlebirds

          He’d steal earn more money from personal sponsors and such than any commenter here.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            26th October 2020, 17:27

            @aapje probably but it’s not relevant. If Lewis is the best driver as @trib4udi stated, then he should be paid the most. It doesn’t matter if it’s his 1st season or his 10nth season with Mercedes. It would be nice of Lewis to give a gift to the Mercedes team in the same fashion as Keanu Reeves did to the Matrix crew.

          2. @freelittlebirds

            Salary is all about what the employer is willing to offer and the employee is willing to accept.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            26th October 2020, 21:04

            @aapje yeah, that might apply to regular folks for regular jobs but these people are irreplaceable so they can negotiate a lot more than ordinary people. Most of them have agents who negotiate on their behalf who can probably get many multiples more that what we would for the same job:-) After all, the amount we’d normally negotiate would probably just about cover the agent’s cut.

          4. @freelittlebirds

            Isn’t the Mercedes car irreplacable? I think that for the last seasons, there was a better chance that Mercedes would win the championship with a different driver, than Lewis had a chance to win with a different car.

          5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            26th October 2020, 22:06

            @aapje there’s no way to really know that for sure – the car’s development would have been very different with another driver. Can Real Madrid win the Champions League without Ronaldo? Can Ronaldo win it with Juvents and without Real Madrid? It’s the synergy between the team and driver that produces the results. It’s also the consistency. We’ve seen Mercedes drop the ball many times when they took their eyes off the ball – who’s to say that they wouldn’t have bad results consistently without Lewis? You screw up 6 races and also make a wrong decision in the car’s development and before you know it, you’re no longer at the front. Staying at the front is not easy – you need the best across the board to do that.

          6. @freelittlebirds

            Perhaps, although I think that driver feedback is overrated at the top end, because fans know the drivers and like to pin everything on them, even though there are hundreds of engineers in these big teams who aren’t stupid.

            Besides, the top drivers are less sensitive to bad handling, like we see and saw with Alonso and Max.

            I think it’s more in the tail end of the field where those teams tend to copy the top team and the engineers have far less of a clue, so they need feedback a lot more.

      3. @trib4udi

        If i were Mercedes CEO i would be forceful in salary negotiations to Lewis though:
        you want the 8 WDC record? do it for free.

        This is probably why you are not the CEO of any company, nor can you be with this kind of upside down logic. Just saying….

    2. The gibberish that came out after crashing into Stroll was anything but classy.
      The guy behind needs to use his eyes, and Max is clearly losing his sight at such a young age.

      Burning out. Tsk tsk.

    3. This Mercedes F1 team are certainly the greatest ever.

    4. Bondo strikes again!

      1. You think you’re John Wick?

  4. Congrats to Lewis! Even with the most dominant car F1 has ever seen he is no doubt the best driver on the grid.

    1. Best driver on the grid is a comment I’d take with a grain of salt, I think hamilton, verstappen and leclerc are the best 3 drivers of the grid, and unlike someone (vettel) they make their experience count, and generally hamilton makes less mistakes than verstappen who makes less than leclerc (as it should be), but from what I saw when they had a competitive car I think they’d be up there to a similar level of speed.

      And then there’s also some promising midfield drivers who never had a chance at a top team, hard to compare, but I’d place hamilton in the top 1-3 of the grid regardless till the others get a decent car.

  5. Max thinks he’s going to race till 40, and get past 92 wins.
    Me thinks max and redbull will g9 through an explosive divorce, then to some other team where he will be one Vettel 2.0, without a single WDC.
    😃😂😃😂😃😂

    1. You’re in for a rough next 18 years of F1.

      1. @robbie TBH I tend to agree. We may well be here in 15 years time celebrating/mourning Verstappen’s tenth championship, who knows. I think it really depends on Ferrari, if they have a resurgence, Leclerc can beat him. But the fact he’ll be a multiple champion, bar the unforeseen, I’ve no doubt.

        1. @david-br Lol to the ‘mourning’ MV’s 10th WDC. Really though, as I have opined elsewhere on this site, I don’t think Liberty/Brawn’s F1 is going to be nearly as conducive to long runs of domination. I expect harder fought Championships for the drivers, and better odds of races going down to the last race or two of seasons. Oh it’s not that I don’t think Max is capable of achieving high numbers, and it’s hard to imagine he won’t, but I think by F1’s design Max will have a tougher road to getting close to the big numbers of LH and MS, but of course it isn’t just about the numbers as we know. Unlike LH and MS who did the bulk of their numbers with one team (LH still with one engine maker), I think Max will succeed with 2 to 4 teams in his career. I think he’ll have a healthy number of Championships and wins and poles, but I just don’t see the stars aligning for any driver going forward to replicate what MS and LH were able to do, not with the budget caps and the tendency towards balance between the teams and the cars able to race more closely. Oh sure of course I think that in a driver vs driver series Max has an edge in terms of talent…I just don’t think he’ll have the dominant cars ala LH and MS, nor will anybody.

          1. Meant to say better odds of ‘seasons’ not ‘races’ going down to the last few races of seasons.

          2. Generally agree but I think putting hamilton and schumacher in the same categories of car dominance is excessive, as far as I saw schumacher’s only dominant cars would be 2001, 2002 and 2004, there’s people who don’t even consider 2001 dominant (not me), while hamilton had the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and still didn’t race as many seasons as schumacher did in his first stint!

            I think schumacher’s dominant-car record isn’t more impressive than other top drivers like senna and prost, since there was definitely the 1988 and 1989 mclaren, as well as the 1993 williams for prost.

            A top driver who had an incredibly unlucky record of car dominance is alonso, 2006 was an even car, the following years he always had an underdog and 2005 was the best car but it was slower than mclaren, wouldn’t call it dominant.

    2. @Rott. Is that what you think? Or what you hope for. I think you are seeking attention. Everybody, with some knowledge about F1, knows that HAMand VER are the best drivers at this moment.

    3. Is that the same guy who said that stupid word that I’m sick of?
      It’s him. It’s him! And I’m not kidding. At all.

  6. Hamilton as a driver is not just consistent but studies hard and learns before and after races. His little black book is now stuffed with data and he advises any young driver to record every lap, every thought, every problem, every solution. And then use their brain to exploit what they have found, think about what they should do, be prepared to change if circumstances demand it.

    1. Hamilton as a driver is not just consistent but studies hard and learns before and after races

      Do you have any idea how consistent people become consistent??

  7. Lewis is certainly the best driver, certainly of the last decade, to compare different eras is perhaps difficult. It is unfair to say it’s just the car, that is not true. Sure, Mercedes is the best team and the car is fastest on the grid, but you still have to win. That said; if Lewis was not winning, it would be Bottas who would be champion. Bottas is a good driver, also consistent and fast, but he lacks something, Lewis just gets that bit extra out of the car, especially on Saturdays, but in the race he is also a class apart. Drivers like Max, and Charles and probably a few of the others, can take the race to Lewis, but they need the tools to do it, and getting past him is a different matter. What in a way diminishes the results of Hamilton a little; is the fact that he (and his team) have almost no competition, and that is shame, I have no doubt Lewis would like the competition, and I hope that Max is the one that can take him on, that would make for great racing. For now; fully deserved, and on to 100!

    1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
      26th October 2020, 21:46

      Very well put. I think it’s a shame that this year Mercedes have such an advantage as Hamilton often thrives when it’s close, and we haven’t got to see him go wheel-to-wheel much this year. Personally I think his strongest season in f1 was 2018 (2017 was also very very good) and that was because there was such a strong challenge from Ferrari. Also there were races last year where he showed a good fighting spirit in wheel-to-wheel racing – think Silverstone, Hungary, Monza. Hamilton is almost always a clean and fair driver with other cars but unfortunately we aren’t getting to see that at the moment, and I know he would relish another team challenging. The only thing that lacked from 2017+18 when Ferrari were more competitive was the title going down to the final race – that added pressure hasn’t been in f1 for several season now however Lewis always seems to thrive when under pressure.

      1. Think hamilton did a good job in 2018, became more consistent then, a shame vettel got worse as the 2018 ferrari was the only car since 2014 that I can confidently say was up there with mercedes across all year on average, but vettel decided to do so many mistakes (his 2017 wasn’t bad) that he managed to end the year further behind than 2017!

  8. I liked what verstappen had to say. Very mature of him. And to give respect where it should. Because if the table turns then im sure he wouldnt want people to say its just the car. During the race we should take what drivers say with a lot of salt, their adrenaline is flowing. Their heart rate is way up. Ofcause they will be emotional. But at the same time they should be mindful of what they say. Although it is challenging to drive and think and then still to think of what to say and how to say it. Some drivers havr greater capacity than others i guess.

  9. Well said Max!
    One day the Lewis Hamilton knockers will wake up.
    The constant hum of their whining/complaining/moaning. Just another background droning in current F1.
    They should all wake up to their unique position of watching one of F1’s GOATs make F1 history.

    1. Making history is not racing alone and pretending to be the best, beat someone with a similar car, wonder if hamilton still remembers how to do that, so long it’s been he had to do it, and no, bottas isn’t exactly what I’d call a challenge.

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