Verstappen "would smash" Hamilton at Mercedes, says Piquet

Three-time former Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet believes Max Verstappen would “smash Hamilton” if he were driving alongside him at Mercedes.

Verstappen "would smash" Hamilton at Mercedes, says Piquet

The Brazilian driver, who won titles in 1981, 1983 and 1987, said it is “very difficult to make a direct comparison between two drivers if they are not on the same team” but believes the Dutch driver would come out on top in a side-by-side challenge.

Piquet also questioned the ability of Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, saying: “It’s not that Hamilton isn’t good. But he has an inferior driver by his side and the previous one [Nico Rosberg] was even worse.”

His son, former Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr, also backed Verstappen, saying he is “coming with a knife between his teeth.”

The pair spoke after Verstappen narrowly missed out on victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday having been forced to give back first place to Hamilton after passing him while off the track.

Piquet told Motorsport.com: “First of all, we have to consider that F1 is a category with different cars, so it’s very difficult to make a direct comparison between two drivers if they are not on the same team. But if Max were driving for Mercedes, I’m sure that he would smash Hamilton.

“Max is more aggressive. He may make mistakes more frequently due to this aggressiveness, but in my opinion he’s better than Hamilton. Things are too easy for Hamilton to win it all with Bottas by his side as a second driver.

“It’s a little bit like Mansell and myself in Williams, with the other drivers far behind. I won the 1987 championship, and I wasn’t driving like before, because I had the accident at the beginning of the year and had field depth problems. But I won that championship, with a bit of luck. I should have won in 1986, but won in 1987.

“But it was so easy. The car was far better than the others. And Mercedes is far better than the others for the past years.

“It’s not that Hamilton isn’t good. But he has an inferior driver by his side and the previous one [Rosberg] was even worse. He [Rosberg] won because it was a year where Hamilton had crashes and DNFs.”

Read Also:

Piquet Jr, who also had a brief spell in F1, driving for Renault alongside Fernando Alonso in 2008-09 added: “I think we have to consider two things: Lewis’ experience and Max’s desire. Lewis has been in F1 for 15 seasons and I think that, little by little, you start to lose that desire. On the other hand, Max is coming with a knife between his teeth.

“Lewis has already won seven championships, so he comes with another type of 'fire'. And that can make a difference.

“I like to compare Max with a MMA fighter, coming ready to face any challenge. It’s different from Lewis, that already won championships and so on.

“Lewis’ experience will help in some areas, but Max’s willingness and aggressiveness is bigger.”

shares
comments

Related video

Wolff counters Bottas' "defensive" strategy complaint

Previous article

Wolff counters Bottas' "defensive" strategy complaint

Next article

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Max Verstappen
Teams Mercedes
Author Megan White
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021