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Hamilton, Vettel wary of 2019 Verstappen threat

  • Published on 12 Dec 2018 15:37
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both believe that Red Bull's Max Verstappen could be in the title fight as early as 2019. The Dutchman put in an impressive display towards the end to the 2018 campaign, scoring seven podiums in the final nine races.

Red Bull could not get close to Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of qualifying pace this year, however it was able to pose a threat in the races, especially in the second half of the year with Verstappen winning in Mexico, and coming close in the US and Brazil.

"Max has been driving very well throughout the year and has shown his consistency and has been up here many, many times with us," Hamilton said. "So, if his team does the job and delivers a platform with which he can compete even closer with us, then of course he'll be in the fight."

Vettel added that the 21-ear-old has "got the ingredients" to be successful: "There's a couple of guys out there who have these qualities and Max is certainly one of them,” he said. "I also remember from my time, it's important to have a competitive package throughout the season and Red Bull are certainly very, very strong.

"I think they put more performance to their car than any other team across the year, so obviously that allowed them to be very competitive. Max and Daniel [Ricciardo] have proven that they can be very, very quick and very consistent so I'm sure [we will see] more of him."

Verstappen played down his chances of competing, saying that he has to wait and see how competitive his car will be in 2019. Red Bull will take on Honda power units after a somewhat successful partnership with its junior team Toro Rosso in 2018.

"I always find that a really difficult question, because you're so dependent on the package in Formula 1," Verstappen said. "When I was watching back in the day, it seemed like Lewis was ready for the title in his first year [2007].

"You can always do things better but I think that's every year. Even if you win the title, there are always things which you can do better. So, even if we have a winning package, there will be weekends where you make a mistake, or it can be a better weekend overall. Hopefully first we'll have that package."

Replies (4)

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  • The level of that threat might vary alot depending on results though, and then we have the other unknown factor that is Gasly. Please Honda, dont fuck this up. You can do good, I've seen you do good, now do good. Good with a d, not with an f, please. its always more fun with the d.

    • + 1
    • Dec 12 2018 - 17:16
  • sadosalo

    Posts: 198

    Oh boy Hamillton getting nervous, take it as a compliment Max. Please Vettel / LeClerc Ferrari we all expect getting better in 2019 for all the F1 fans around the World and most of us hope this boring procession of Mercedes ends. Thanks to FIA in the first place to allow Mercedes the advange for last 5 years. It should be racing between the drivers not the Manufactures $ as Mercedes is bo$$ & boring.

    • + 0
    • Dec 13 2018 - 02:45
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    I guess Hamilton and Vettel were asked a direct question about the challenge Max could pose. I don't like to see F1 drivers talking up their opponents, it's cringe-worthy. F1 drivers shouldn't give a monkey about any other driver (unless perhaps, their team mate) and all focus should be on themselves.

    • + 1
    • Dec 13 2018 - 09:51
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      I agree Blade. Also what doesn't make any sense is the assumption that they drive for the team, they don't drivers should drive for themselves and should do anything that would give them an better result. Letting people by because of team orders or even giving praise might lead to an edge which is something that is see as part of the sport. The needle from Hamilton, the finger from Vettel they all fall into that area. So why o way would you say something that boosts another driver.

      an example:
      For almost the whole of 2017 season Hamilton called Verstappen anything but his name (this guy, that boy etc) he does that for an reason. However him doing so also exposes his feelings towards Verstappen. I love that sort of thing in F1.

      • + 0
      • Dec 13 2018 - 11:18

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