Verstappen now a force to be reckoned with in F1, Hamilton feels

Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen is now "a force to be reckoned with" in Formula 1 following the Red Bull driver's latest performance in the British Grand Prix

Verstappen now a force to be reckoned with in F1, Hamilton feels

Verstappen won his first grand prix with Red Bull in Spain after being promoted from Toro Rosso, and has now scored back-to-back second-place finishes at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone.

British Grand Prix driver ratings

The latter came after Nico Rosberg received a 10-second penalty, but Verstappen overtook Rosberg in the greasy conditions before later keeping the faster Mercedes at bay for several laps.

"We knew they would be fast," Hamilton said of Red Bull.

"Going into the race I think they said we had half-a-second of pace or something, potentially, [over] Red Bull.

"Whether or not it was half-a-second I don't know, but we definitely had pace against them.

"Max drove a fantastic race and is continuing to show he's a force to be reckoned with."

While Rosberg felt Verstappen's defence and number of changes of lines was "on the edge, massively on the limit", Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has been highly impressed with the 18-year-old.

"The Red Bull car is generally a car that functions very well in the wet, with a lot of drag," said Wolff.

"But his racecraft is spectacular, and with the way he positions the car.

"You can see if he has a good car underneath him, he is able to put up a great fight."

VERSTAPPEN PUSHING BOTH RED BULL DRIVERS

Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and nearly 20 seconds behind at Silverstone, one day after being out-qualified by the Dutch driver for the first time.

While "a little bit pissed off" with losing his perfect 2016 intra-team qualifying record, the Australian said Verstappen's rise would boost both drivers' output.

"It has been a bit different around the team," he said.

"When they made the driver swap there was a lot of noise created around Barcelona and then he went on and won it so that was all a bit chaotic, and then obviously Monaco what happened to me.

"It has been pretty hectic since Max joined, there has been a lot more going on in F1, within the team.

"With myself, he's pushing, he's doing really well and I obviously want to try and keep on top of it.

"I'm sure it's bringing out a bit more in both of us."

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