In an unique interview with Autosport, Verstappen mentioned his rivalry with the seven-time world champion, which has taken on a brand new dimension in the beginning of the 2021 season because the Dutchman’s Pink Bull group 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 incorrect.
When requested who he believed to be one of the best present driver in F1 – particularly aside from himself – Verstappen replied: “Man, you already know it is tremendous laborious, 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 System 1, I believe who’re excellent, very robust, and would have been excellent in that automobile as properly.
“However nonetheless, after all, the best way Lewis has received and in addition typically in difficult races – like final yr in Turkey, to win that race, I believe he did very properly.
“Yeah, undoubtedly he is likely one of the greatest ever in System 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 date with the velocity and automobile bundle mixture able to difficult the Mercedes drivers for race wins.
He completed behind Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas nines occasions final season, six as runner-up, and beat the Black Arrows twice – his win towards the formbook on the seventieth 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 often 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 analyzing 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 assessment 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 begin with – since you’re not innovating and changing 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 one of the best for me – to be myself.”
The complete interview with Max Verstappen is included on this week’s subject of Autosport journal, which is on the market in outlets and on-line right here: https://www.autosportmedia.com.