Lewis Hamilton believes Verstappen has never faced a teammate of the same calibre as Bottas, Rosberg, or any of his former teammates. The 7-time Champion is critical of the narrative surrounding Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez.
Red Bull have received plenty of question marks about the gap between their teammates this season. After a solid start, Perez is now unable to match the relentless performances of Max Verstappen.
A series of early qualifying exits and missed podium opportunities have only intensified the conversations regarding this dynamic.
There were also plenty of comparisons between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes. The Finnish driver was often given the “number two driver” tag in his time with the Silver Arrows.
Fresh off a new contract with Mercedes, Hamilton compared his teammates with those of Max Verstappen:
“When I qualified half a second, six-tenths ahead of Valtteri, they didn’t say the same thing as they say today when Max qualifies six-tenths ahead of Perez,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s blown up much more.
“And in my personal opinion, Valtteri, and actually all of my team-mates, have been stronger than the team-mates that Max has had.
“Jenson [Button], Fernando [Alonso], George [Russell], Valtteri… Nico [Rosberg] – I’ve had so many.
“These guys have all been very consistent, and Max has not raced against anyone like that.”
Hamilton clearly believes that the calibre of his teammates is a significant differentiator between himself and Verstappen.
It is true that, overall, the British driver has faced a number of World Champions in the same machinery.
Then again, this is somewhat expected given his far greater experience in Formula 1 – having debuted back in the 2007 season.
Furthermore, many would dispute whether Bottas was a more formidable opponent than Daniel Ricciardo – especially during the Australian’s Red Bull years.
In any case, Hamilton’s perspective on the situation is clear.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang