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Verstappen: "Nothing to prove" by having Hamilton as future F1 team-mate

Max Verstappen says he would have “nothing to prove” by taking on Lewis Hamilton as his Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate at some point in the future.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 2nd position, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrate with Champagne on the podium

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 2nd position, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrate with Champagne on the podium

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The prospect has become a topic of conversation after Hamilton revealed that Red Bull boss Christian Horner had made contact with him earlier this year, while noting that he’d missed the message at the time, and nothing came of it.

Hamilton subsequently signed a new deal with Mercedes, while Sergio Perez’s ongoing contract means he will undertake another season with Red Bull in 2024.

Asked in an FIA press conference about the theoretical prospect of one day having Hamilton as his team-mate, Verstappen made it clear that he wasn’t interested in such a discussion.

“What would it add to know?” said Verstappen. “Because it's not happening. So there's no point to make up stories if it's not happening.”

Pressed on whether he would like it to happen, he said: “I wouldn't mind, it doesn't matter. Anyone. I don't want to put it like now particularly on Lewis. There are so many great drivers as well. Sometimes it just doesn't work out like that.”

Later, in a session with Dutch media, Verstappen was asked once again about the subject.

“It doesn't interest me at all,” he said. “I didn't even know about those stories when I was asked during the press conference. But I don't care either. We don't even need to talk about it, because it's just never going to happen.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing at the post race press conference

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing at the post race press conference

Faced with the suggestion that beating Hamilton in equal machinery would be a statement, Verstappen questioned: “But what do I need to prove? I've got nothing to prove, I think.”

He also downplayed the prospect of an intra-team battle with Hamilton being good for F1 fans.

“Then there will always be excuses if one driver is faster than the other,” he said. “Like 'Yeah, but he's too old now and that kind of stuff'. They [fans] always come up with something. It's the same now.

“Nowadays people say that I win too much. But if you don't win, they will say, 'The team has to do a better job'. There are always some stories to create to talk about something else.”

Told that his former Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has said he can beat any team-mate he's given, Verstappen added: “Well, I believe in myself of course. If you don't have that self-confidence, then it's better to quit.”

Additional reporting by Ronald Vording

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