Coulthard: Hamilton "truly relishing" Verstappen F1 title fight

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton is “truly relishing the challenge” he is facing against Max Verstappen in the drivers championship.

Coulthard: Hamilton "truly relishing" Verstappen F1 title fight

The 13-time grand prix winner said he has seen “a different Lewis in this challenge” and believes the Mercedes driver is “so motivated” by the title fight.

Red Bull leads the constructors' championship with 286 points ahead of this weekend’s race at Silverstone, leading Mercedes by 44 points, while Verstappen’s 182 points in the drivers' standings puts him 32 clear of Hamilton.

Coulthard, who is also the W Series Advisory Board Chairman, also said he believes Verstappen and his team have “extended” Hamilton’s F1 career.

“What I’ve observed, if you look at the last couple of races which he’s lost, he’s been much calmer and much more magnanimous in defeat than we’ve seen," Coulthard said ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix. “Sometimes when he was beaten by Nico when they were teammates, he would be a bit chippy, he would be a bit dummy in the dust and a bit spoiled child, multi-millionaire racing driver.

“I’ve not seen that. What I’ve seen is an elegance, I’ve seen a confidence, I’ve seen a different Lewis in this challenge. So therefore, I think that he is truly relishing the challenge. Of course he wants a title, who doesn’t? Of course he wants to win, who doesn’t? But he’s done so much winning.

“I think that the fact that he’s signed up for another two years, he is just so motivated by the challenge. I think that Max Verstappen and Red Bull this year have extended his career, I truly believe that, because if he doesn’t win it this year, I don’t think he’ll go off into the winter crying his heart out.

"I think he’ll go ‘you know what, as a team we didn’t deliver, how can we do better next year?’ I just think he’s such a pure-bred racer - the way he’s been brought up by his family, total focus, total dedication.

"I think he loves it, I truly do, and I think the fact that he’s not winning right now is extending his career.”

Read Also:

Coulthard also said it feels “feels a little bit like Mercedes have to deliver this weekend, it feels like Lewis has to deliver this weekend” after Verstappen won the past three races – one in France and the double-header in Austria.

“I’m really curious, because Toto obviously has a belief in the performance of the car," he said. “The team have done so much analysis and understanding of where their cars are performing well relative to the competition that they will have run the sims and will know reasonably accurately, taking out weather and various other factors and variables, where they can expect to perform.

“So it feels a little bit like Mercedes have to deliver this weekend, it feels like Lewis has to deliver this weekend, because Max, he’s not scared of anyone, he is a natural-born winner, he is on the crest of a wave right now, and he’s not going to be fazed by lots of Union Jacks.

“But I do think that Lewis is someone who does respond in a kind of Nigel Mansell way to home support and truly believes it can lift him.

“I think it’s a really important weekend for the championship.”

The third round of the 2021 W Series season at Silverstone is live on Channel 4 this Saturday from 12:05 GMT.

shares
comments

Related video

British GP "designed to feel like 2019" F1 race - Silverstone boss
Previous article

British GP "designed to feel like 2019" F1 race - Silverstone boss

Next article

Stroll: Being pushed around won't make Aston Martin F1 winners

Stroll: Being pushed around won't make Aston Martin F1 winners
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

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 stalwart.

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

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 Prime

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 the 2021 F1 season Prime

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

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
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022