In an unique interview with Autosport, Verstappen mentioned his rivalry with the seven-time world champion, which has taken on a brand new dimension firstly of the 2021 season because the Dutchman’s Pink Bull workforce has begun a marketing campaign with the quickest automobile for the primary time within the turbo hybrid period.
This led to an exhilarating season opener in Bahrain final month, the place Hamilton beat Verstappen after the Pink Bull driver’s late passing try and reclaim the lead went unsuitable.
When requested who he believed to be the most effective present driver in F1 – particularly aside from himself – Verstappen replied: “Man, you understand it is tremendous exhausting, however after all it’s a must to give credit score to Lewis.
“[For] the best way he has handled all of the years, to at all times come again and be honoured and win that quantity of races and championships. You undoubtedly can’t go round Lewis.
“However, after all, there are nonetheless plenty of different individuals in Formulation 1, I believe who’re excellent, very sturdy, and would have been excellent in that automobile as nicely.
“However nonetheless, after all, the best way Lewis has received and in addition generally in difficult races – like final 12 months in Turkey, to win that race, I believe he did very nicely.
“Yeah, undoubtedly he is among the greatest ever in Formulation 1.”
Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB16B
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Verstappen has had an nearly distinctive place in F1 because the begin of 2020, as the one driver to this point with the pace and automobile bundle mixture able to difficult the Mercedes drivers for race wins.
He completed behind Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas nines instances final season, six as runner-up, and beat the Black Arrows twice – his win towards the formbook on the 70th Anniversary GP and after Pink Bull had developed its RB16 as much as the Mercedes W11’s efficiency stage (Mercedes opted to cease creating its 2020 automobile in August, after seven rounds) by the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
However regardless of being commonly that near Hamilton – and forward for the opening section of the 2021 season opener after ranging from pole – Verstappen defined that he doesn’t select to mimic his rival when inspecting the place he can drive even higher.
“I do not have a look at it like that,” he mentioned.
“I first have a look at what I may have performed higher or completely different – [after] each single race.
“After which… I do watch different individuals and evaluation stuff, however I’m not somebody who copies. I am myself.
“As a result of should you copy stuff from others, you are at all times going to be behind to start with – since you’re not innovating and turning into higher than them.
“After all you may simply have a look at it, you may observe it. However on the finish of the day, I am myself and I believe that works the most effective for me – to be myself.”
The complete interview with Max Verstappen is included on this week’s difficulty of Autosport journal, which is out there in retailers and on-line right here: https://www.autosportmedia.com.