Verstappen: Hamilton one of F1's best of all time but 'no God'

Max Verstappen hopes Red Bull has produced a 2020 Formula 1 car with which he can take the fight to Mercedes, insisting Lewis Hamilton is 'good but not God'

Verstappen: Hamilton one of F1's best of all time but 'no God'

Verstappen finished third in the drivers' standings in 2019 in Red Bull's first year with Honda engines, netting three wins, and Red Bull has set its sights on challenging for more this year.

Though Hamilton was in brilliant form last year as he grabbed his sixth F1 title, Verstappen said he thinks things will be very different if Red Bull can start putting pressure on the Mercedes driver.

"It's very car dependent, of course in F1," said Verstappen during a Red Bull media event in London.

"At least when you can put the pressure on them, of course, it's a lot harder for the guy.

"If you never really have pressure, then you can always drive it with 97/98% and you never make mistakes, or just have one [bad] weekend out of 21 or 22.

"So even if we start within two tenths, you can really mount the pressure.

"And of course, I would like to start straight away there because then it's really on."

While Hamilton's sixth title success means he is one short of Michael Schumacher's all-time record, Verstappen said he does not believe Hamilton is untouchable.

"Lewis is very good, he is definitely one of the best, but he is not God," said the Dutchman.

"Maybe God is with him but he's not God."

Verstappen said Red Bull was in a positive mood about its efforts over the winter.

"I think last year already it was good, especially in a transition year like we had, it was very promising," he said.

"We really want to mount a challenge to especially Mercedes and I think we can do that.

"Of course we have to wait and see from testing, but I'm very much looking forward to it. Everybody's fired up. Everybody's very motivated, especially also coming off last year in the end. We were very competitive.

"We knew where we had to work on but you cannot solve that within two, three weekends, so because we tried a few things to learn and understand for this year, we are working in the right direction.

"But of course now it's also up to us to develop more than Mercedes and Ferrari during the winter.

"We have to start strong from the very first race, we have to be there."

While he suggested Hamilton can be rattled by being put under more pressure, Verstappen thinks Red Bull operates best when stress levels are high.

"It's under pressure situations like in Brazil, for example, but also some other difficult races like in Germany, that you can see that the team is really excelling compared to the others," he said.

"So I'm also looking forward to when we get that fight and we are really close, and I'm pretty sure that we can do better."

shares
comments
F1 Strategy Group to discuss fate of Chinese GP amid virus outbreak
Previous article

F1 Strategy Group to discuss fate of Chinese GP amid virus outbreak

Next article

Aitken to get Formula 1 track time with Williams after Renault exit

Aitken to get Formula 1 track time with Williams after Renault exit
Load comments
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022