Verstappen: Hamilton "good but not God"

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull can deliver him a Formula 1 car this year to take the fight to Mercedes, as he insisted that Lewis Hamilton was ‘good but not God.’

Verstappen: Hamilton "good but not God"
Listen to this article

With the Dutchman having come off the back of an encouraging first season for his Milton Keynes-based team with Honda, which netted three wins, his sights are set on being able to challenge for the world championship this year.

And although main rival Hamilton was in brilliant form last year as he grabbed his sixth F1 title, Verstappen says that things will be very different if Red Bull can start putting pressure on the Briton.

“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 percent 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 know, 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 has sealed his place as one of F1’s greatest ever drivers, Verstappen say he does not view the Briton as someone who cannot be defeated.

“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.”

Read Also:

Verstappen says that the mood inside Red Bull is positive about the efforts they have made 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. You know, I think we were very competitive.

“We knew where we had to work on but you know, 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.”

And while he suggests that Hamilton can be rattled by being put under more pressure this year, Verstappen thinks that his Red Bull team operates to its 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.”

Red Bull will shakedown its new car at Silverstone on February 12.

shares
comments
F1 to discuss coronavirus threat to Chinese GP
Previous article

F1 to discuss coronavirus threat to Chinese GP

Next article

Aitken gets Williams reserve role, FP1 run

Aitken gets Williams reserve role, FP1 run
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022