Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen could “absolutely” break his record of 103 Formula 1 race victories in the future.Mercedes driver scored his most recent victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021. Verstappen scored his 40th win in the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Verstappen is 25 and is contracted to remain at Red Bull until at least 2028. Asked whether Verstappen could become the next driver to hold the record for most wins, Hamilton said: “He’s got a very long career ahead of him so absolutely.
“Ultimately records are there to be broken and he’s got an amazing team.”
Mercedes have only scored a single win since the beginning of last year – George Russell’s triumph at Interlagos last November. Hamilton said Mercedes have “got to work harder to try and continue to extend” his wins record. “I hope we get to have some, at least within the last period of time in my career, I hope we get to have some more close racing.”
If Verstappen wins Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix he will equal Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 wins, which is the fifth-highest total of any driver. At this race in 2017 Hamilton was presented with a helmet used by Senna when he equalled his childhood idol’s former record of 65 pole positions.
“It was very surreal,” Hamilton recalled. “Being five years old, watching with my dad, the dream was to be like Ayrton. And then the dream was to get to Formula 1 and do something like him.
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“To then find that you’re matching or equalling in terms of results – ultimately it’s unfair because there’s a lot more races in our time back than there were then. But still it’s a real honour.
“They gave me a replica helmet or something like that, so that was very cool. Max has been doing an amazing job, he’s had such an incredible career so far and he is for sure going to surpass that. I’m working on getting the car to where it needs to be so we can slow him down.”
Verstappen the milestone shouldn’t be used to compare his achievements with other drivers. “People always have different kinds of careers,” he said. “Maybe some drivers, they get into a race winning car sooner than others. Nowadays, of course, we have more races than back in the day. So I never really look at the number.
“But when I was a little kid I would have never imagined to be in that list. So for me it’s definitely an amazing achievement, for sure. But you can’t compare it, that’s one thing.”
Verstappen said Hamilton’s record, which he is not yet halfway towards reaching, will be “very hard to beat.”
“Obviously you need to be in the right car for a long time and we don’t know if we have that. But it’s also not something I ever looked at. I’m just going with the flow and enjoying the moment.”
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Red Bull has won every race this year. Verstappen said he isn’t considering that as a possibility at the moment.
“If you look at how we are performing now, yes [we could], but it is very unrealistic, I think, because there will always be things that will go wrong in the season that are maybe sometimes out of your control.
“So I’m not thinking that is possible. But when you look at it realistically at the moment with how quick the car is, yes, it is.”
“Last year was already quite crazy with 15 wins,” he added. “But as long as I win the championship, that’s the most important.”
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