Max Verstappen, Red Bull, RB16 launch, Silverstone, 2020

Verstappen’s comments “a sign of weakness” – Hamilton

2020 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen’s recent remarks about him are “a sign of weakness” in his rival.

The Red Bull driver told media earlier last month Hamilton’s success was partly due to a lack of pressure from rival teams.

“It’s very car dependent, of course, in F1,” Verstappen. “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% and you never make mistakes.”

This was the latest in a series of comments Verstappen has aimed at Hamilton. Last year he said his Mercedes rival has “never really had big pressure from his team mates”.

But Hamilton brushed off his rival’s remarks when asked about them during today’s Mercedes launch. “I find it funny seeing that,” he said. “I’ve just always known to just do my talking on the track. Often I tend to see that as a sign of weakness.”

Hamilton said he is impressed his Mercedes team have kept up their motivation to win again after scoring their sixth consecutive sweep of the championship titles last year.

“This is my is my eighth year at the team. The buzz is the same every year. Everyone couldn’t be more excited, they couldn’t be more enthusiastic or more driven.

“And I’d say probably the most impressive thing is that [after] we’ve had the success, it could be quite easy for them to be laid back today.”

“Everyone’s focussed. There’s been so much work that’s done in the background to make sure that today runs smoothly. So I think everyone gets excited at this stage and just everyone seems refreshed, revamped and ready for the challenges ahead.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Verstappen’s comments “a sign of weakness” – Hamilton”

  1. Spicy. I hope the Red Bull this year is able to challenge for the title.

    1. “A sign of weakness” – Lewis Hamilton 2020

      “Where is Verstappen?”
      “I cannot go any faster”
      “I can’t pass this guy”
      Verstappen this…Verstappen that…..sign of weakness Lewis??

      LMAO

      1. What’s there to laugh about. I don’t think you know the point of F1. Didn’t Lewis and Mercedes walk both championships? Whatever they did showcased their strengths surely, and highlighted everybody else’s weaknesses?

        1. Jl just showed Ham’s weakness.
          When you have the best package winning is a lot easier.

          1. Except Ferrari has had the fastest car for two years :)

            That’s plenty of pressure.

  2. both are spot on. im loving this.

    1. Nice indeed. A bit of fighting off track and a lot on track, ingredients for a exiting season.

    2. Exactly. Basically we’ve kicked off the season..

  3. Methinks Lewis is the ‘weak’ one here!
    O if Max was driving that Merc! Rosberg would never have made champ.

    1. @Islander Keep on dreaming. Watch Max crumbling under pressure this season, mark my words. Verstappen is good but not that good and he’s not good on his tires also, this year Max will be exposed as overhyped. It’s clear Max has a Hamilton obsession, Max was the one signing a new contract first because he’s afraid of Hamilton.

      1. @noname: “not good in tyres”.. if you have watched the last 5 years closely you would have seen that, there are few drivers as good as Max when he needs to stretch the lifespan of the tyres to extremes. Unfortunately he has been in an interior car most of the time so most times he had to wring every last tenth of a sec out of the car to keep up or make up for the time lost during qualifying or due to penalties received after yet another new power-unit failure (yes I’m pointing at you Renault F1).

      2. @noname This is great banter between unarguably the greatest driver and the one most likely to take over.

        Max is sublime and out-drives the car pretty much most of the time. He doesn’t fold under pressure, IMHO the errors are inevitable consequence of extracting more than the car can give, most of the time.

      3. gratz for the most ignorant comment of the year hahahaha

        Verstappen is much stronger than Hamilton. Verstappen at 22 is better than Hamilton in his peak. He allready showed that when he was like 20 / 21 years young.

        Lewis is scared…scared of Verstappen winning in a competitive car. Mindgames Lewis LMAO

        1. Yep that kid who just got his first pole is certainly better than the 6 x Champ.

        2. Being scared of a rival after wining the championship 6 times?! That’s actually a good thing.

    2. Yes if Max had driven the Merc he would never have crashed into barriers like he did with the RB, other drivers that he could have avoided quite easily, or opened his big mouth to throw away a pole. And having been up against Gasly and Albon he knows exactly what its like to go up against the likes of a Hamilton or Alonso in the same car.

    3. SomeoneFromBelgium
      14th February 2020, 11:42

      Yep. Another unprovoked sneer at Rosberg. Still not over it??

      About Ham vs. Max and who ‘is right’. I think they both are (not).
      It’s easy for Max to say that in Ham’s car he would be WDC. And if Valteri and Rosberg don’t count as ‘real pressure’ from a team mate then Kvyat, Gasly and Ricciardo don’t either.
      On the other hand: Ham doesn’t only do the talking on track. And Max has done plentifull talking on track too.

      So, it’s exiting to see. The atmosphere is getting more fisky between the two and soon the battle will start (I hope)!

    4. @Islander

      If Ricciardo could beat Verstappen I am sure Rosberg could do the same.

      1. Possible.. But Ricci did not succeed, so there you go already.

        1. 2 season victories for RIC, one for Verstappen. So unless you are in denial that is succeeding.

          1. @blazzz Yet somehow in spite of that rhetoric Max ‘won’ RBR as a prize and DR is hoping on hope for ‘a’ podium this year at Renault.

          2. It’s succeeding initially but then falling behind…. The first season is where Max started off driving the Toro Rosso and by the 3rd season, Max outscored Ricciardo by 79 points.

            You wouldn’t expect a young driver to enter F1 and be immediately as fast and consistent as they will be after a few years and this shows in the results between the two. I would have expected Rosberg to have beaten Verstappen whilst he was a teenager in his first couple of seasons in F1 but I don’t think he would get near Verstappen now.

          3. @petebaldwin Yeah well said. The fact that Max started at STR the year that he was promoted up to RBR still counts as a ‘won’ year for DR, to Max’s detractors around here.

            We all know Max made a lot of mistakes that cost him a lot of points and handed a lot to DR, and of course DR had to be there to capitalize so kudos to him, and sometimes DR lead outright, but as I said all along, if one wanted to formulate the way to regularly beat one’s teammate, it would not be to hope he errs a lot, and otherwise to be outqualified by him two to one, doubled up in laps spent ahead, and doubled up in finishing ahead when they both finish. That would usually spell disaster, unless the exuberance of youth attacks your teammate at just the right times.

          4. @petebaldwin

            It’s succeeding initially but then falling behind….

            Disagree. I have said it on these boards many times before- F1 is about more than just ultimate speed.
            By their second season as team mates it was clear Max had more raw pace but Ricciardo was the more
            complete driver.

            History teaches us that slower team mates have beaten their faster more illustrious team mates-
            Lauda beating Prost
            Prost beating Senna
            Button beating Hamilton in 2011
            Ricciardo beating Max
            etc etc.

            I would have expected Rosberg to have beaten Verstappen whilst he was a teenager in his first couple of seasons in F1 but I don’t think he would get near Verstappen now.

            Again there is a problem with this statement- see how Ricciardo vs Verstappen.
            Albon who- lets face it- isn’t yet on Max’s level was leading Verstappen going into the Brazil points wise just by being more sensible- and any fair minded person wouldn’t say Albon is better than Max. Which emphasises my initial point.

          5. You wouldn’t expect a young driver to enter F1 and be immediately as fast and consistent as they will be after a few years and this shows in the results between the two.

            You mean like 2007? When a rookie called Lewis Hamilton beat Alonso. A 2 time WC, the man that dethroned Schumi, and he did it in the same machinery.

          6. I quess you didn’t watch the 2018 season then, otherwise you wouldn’t have said this LoL

            Ricciardo had nothing on Verstappen, except for a much more reliable car

          7. @blazzz But of course as usual, in your response to @petebaldwin you like to sell the point that because for a small window AA out scored Max that means Max isn’t sensible and AA is, and you ignore the issues he had with the component penalty change, the being taken out of a race by Leclerc, the racing incident with LH. Any fair minded person wouldn’t say Albon is better than Max, but you are unfairly portraying him as more sensible by ignoring the very reasons for the points differential, and over a pretty small sample of time.

            Bottom line for me, Max has for all relevant intents and purposes shed himself of that impetuous youth image, and of course will still make the odd mistake, be in the odd racing incident, as does every driver including the Champ in the WCC car, but I expect that for you any mistake he makes will be well amplified and his past will continue to be dredged up for him being ‘less sensible.’ Ad infinitum.

      2. @blazzz Ok I’ll play too. If Rosberg can beat LH, then Max can too. NR was no Max level driver, not even in 2016.

        1. @robbie
          Firstly Rosberg is a world champion. To quote the great Niki Lauda ‘Max was beaten by a nobody’.

          2ndly, by your own admission- Max made alot of mistakes which Rosberg did not in 2016- which means your
          hypothesis is rather fllawed.

          Hamilton has faced tougher team mates and compares favourably with a 10-2 record which includes a fair
          few world champions.

          So far Max’s toughest team mate is Ricciardo and he didn’t acquit himself convincingly. So, time will tell
          whether your boy’s hype will match the talent
          – so far, the hype does not match his ability on track unfortunately.

          1. @blazzz Where’s that quote, and who is the nobody that Max was beaten by?

            My point was, if Nico could beat LH, then under the same circumstances, Max in that WCC car could have too. Ie. Max has always looked and acted as far more potent a racer than NR ever did. He’s well past making the numbers and types of errors he did pre-Monaco 2018.

            Where I think the majority would disagree with you, including the whole F1 paddock, is your suggestion that Max has not met up to his hype. Frankly I think they’re likely closer to thinking ‘omg what are we going to do once he’s in a WCC car.’

            That he could surpass both Ferrari drivers who had the second place car, with his third place car, surely ‘meets the hype’ other than to those who just simply don’t like the guy.

        2. @Robbie

          Amen….you hit the nail on its head, and that’s why so many truly believe Verstappen would expose Hamilton in the same car.

          Like Button said “Verstappen is the most natural talented driver on the grid”

  4. If the top three cars are as close this year as they were during the 2nd half of 2019, then 2020 is going to be blockbuster between Lewis, Max and Charles.

    1. no vettel or bottas

    2. Between Lewis and Max…Im not sure Leclerc would keep up racepace wise

  5. Hmm well LH does his share of talking off the track too, Max does his share of talking on the track too, and I’m not quite sure how what Max said shows a sign of weakness. When I think of Max, the last thing I think of is weakness. Oh well, guess LH had to say something off the track after all. Let the games begin.

    1. So basically Lewis should just keep quiet?

      1. Of course not. Never said that. Just pointing out LH doesn’t just do his talking on the track as he has implied in the quotes above. And Max says a lot on the track too, in case LH thinks he is the only one. But of course the reality is all drivers do their talking both on and off the track. These guys are just trading barbs like competitors do, and in order for it to be a barb there has to be a little exaggeration in there.

      2. Make that stiff

    2. It’s weak because Max isn’t focussing on himself or his driving. His attention is on a competitor.

      Now, if you truly believe you are the best there is no reason to focus on any competitor because they’re all just losers compared to you. Evidently Max does feel the need to focus on one, however. So therefor logic suggests Max fears Lewis, ergo he’s showing a sign of weakness.

      1. @jeffreyj Not sure how you would know what Max is or isn’t doing, but I think it is safe to say Max can walk and chew gum at the same time. I highly doubt he is obsessed to the point of distraction with his competitors.

        As to Max ‘focussing’ on one competitor, even if he was doing that doesn’t it make sense that he would focus on the one dynamo of the hybrid era? Who should he and the other drivers focus on as the benchmark to beat?

        You have not put together a case that can conclude that Max fears LH. I promise you he does not. I think the only thing Max would fear is never getting the necessary equipment, just as all WDCs have had to have in order to win their WDCs, which is part of Max’s point, and I think the odds of Max with his talent and such a long career ahead of him not getting into capable cars, seems very slim.

    3. @robbie Three reasons:

      1) Downtalking a competitor locks one onto them in their past state (because physics means you only get information from the past, not the present) and limits one’s ability to cover for surprises. Max isn’t racing the Lewis of 2019, and if he’s focusing on how the Lewis of 2019 acts, he won’t be ready for how the Lewis of 2020 will act. That would cause him to find new ways to fail to defeat Lewis, because the only opponent one should concentrate on passing is the opponent that actually exists in front of one.

      2) While some drivers can fuel themselves on negative emotions, it’s not a particularly efficient fuel because it tends to cause opportunity loss. In short, if Max keeps doing this, he risks missing where he can actually enhance his chances.

      3) Psychological warfare is sophisticated, and the samey tactics Max is using shows he is still quite naive in this area. That might work around others who are similarly naive, but Lewis is not. Remember, he’s a veteran of the Nico Rosberg battle, and Nico had to work on his trash-talking (and several other aspects) for several years before besting the Lewis of 2016. Lewis learned from that experience, so any competitor planning on using trash talk to destablise Lewis will need to be doing it at a higher level than Nico did. Max isn’t there – and revealing that may have made him vulnerable to counter-attack. Not from Lewis now (who doesn’t seem to be trying such methods) but potentially from others, and potentially Lewis later if a title fight is in their combined future. There’s a reason people try to avoid giving “tells” in poker.

      1. @alianora-la-canta I think you are way overthinking this. I think this is so minute an aspect of the game for Lewis and Max, who have never really been in a close rivalry during Max’s young tenure, and this is just them having a little fun. I’m pretty confident both drivers are going to do the vast bulk of their talking on the track.

        I mean, it’s not like Max is showing any sign whatsoever of an obsession, right? I think the reality is closer to being that he has said a few things, as would be normal, as Lewis has jabbed him with comments such has having to take a wide berth around him on the track, and those things have been spun enough in the media that it appears he’s got something to say about Lewis far more often than is reality.

        No, I think you needn’t psychoanalyze Max. He’ll be fine. He’s really good at doing his talking on the track. He’s way too good and way too focused to be distracted from his task at hand. This year when the opportunities arise he’ll be racing the Lewis that is there around him at that particular moment, not the one from 2019. And he’ll be the 2020 version of Max too. He likely can and has learned from things too.

        And as we know, so much is going to depend on where the cars and drivers find themselves relative to each other. If LH runs away again, expect only subtle little remarks between he and Max and minimal interaction on the track. Obviously if Max’s RBR is closer relatively to LH’s Merc than last year, ya there could be some fireworks on and off the track. That’s what makes it enthralling. But for and up to now, anything said by Lewis and Max about each other is barely even noteworthy in the grand scheme of things. Let’s see what evolves if/when they get in an actual persistent heated rivalry on track with Championship implications.

  6. It’s all mind games. Max is having a go at Lewis. But Lewis is a master at mind games too.

    1. Not sure if this was a masterful reply.

      1. He is the 6 time WDC. He doesnt even need to answer the whiny boy who wants his cake.

        Verstappen aims his rubbish at who has a better car than him, no matter who.

        He shouldnt be taken seriously.

        1. the whiny boy who wants his cake

          I’m a Max fan but that’s exactly what he sounds like in these kind of quotes.

    2. Max is immune for mindgames

      1. So far I would say yes. So let’s see when we add a bit of pressure..

      2. Max lost the Brazil 2018 race because he’s very much hindered by mind games

        1. @f1osaurus Smart answer to an unsmart comment.

        2. @Robbie

          Amen….you hit the nail on its head, and that’s why so many truly believe Verstappen would expose Hamilton in the same car.

          Like Button said “Verstappen is the most natural talented driver on the grid”

          lmao…sure bud

          1. sorry, wrong comment on wrong answer

            The real comment should be “sure bud, Max lost his mind in the 2018 brazil race…not Ocon” hahahaha

  7. I think we only have to think back to hysterical radio messages about wrong tyres from Monaco 2019 to get an example of signs of weakness.

    1. I have to agree with that. For me, Hamilton’s weakness is being afraid of taking a beat fair and square on track.

      He doesn’t want to face the same thing Alonso faced from him, or Vettel faced from Leclerc.

      So, whenever he sees a possibility of that happening, he starts criticizing some aspect of the machinery. Can somebody please tell me when my battery is low? (Brazil 2019 after being passed)

      Well, enough of my parapsychology analysis… ¶:)

      1. Good point!

    2. You could also look to back to Hungary for Max’s hysterical messages. Or Mexico. Swings and round abouts.

      1. @blazz
        What “hysterical” message?
        Please provide links/transcripts.
        And for every “hysterical” radio message from Max I’m gonna provide you with 10 hysterical messages from Lewis.
        I’ll be waiting!

        1. What “hysterical” message?
          Please provide links/transcripts

          Go on Youtube, watch the highlights and listen with an objective mind.

          And for every “hysterical” radio message from Max I’m gonna provide you with 10 hysterical messages from Lewis.

          Maybe, maybe not. But that could also do with the editing from FOM.

          Ultimately my point is simple- all these top drivers have tantrums on the radio and it’s not just unique to Hamilton. You could defintiely throw in Vettel in there and least we forget one Fernando Alonso when he was competing.

          1. @blazzz

            Oconomo thinks that by saying that Lewis blames outside factors just as Verstappen does, is somehow a denial and/or counter-argument for your remark of “Swings and round abouts.” I mean… that just says tells you all you need to know, doesn’t it? lol.

    3. You seem obsessed with just looking at Hamilton’s radio messages, while conveniently ignoring when other drivers do the same. Max has been hysterical many times on the radio e.g Hungary 2019, Hungary 2018, then there was that time Max was literally in tears on the radio, crying “they’re killing racing!!

    4. @pironitheprovocateur The great “admirer of Hamilton” strikes again …

      I guess you are admiring how Hamilton, with all his weakness over the radio and struggling with tyres that would last only 50 laps on a 66 lap sprint, still managed to beat Verstappen?

      1. Bottas would have beaten Verstappen to on that strategy….so what’s ur point?

        1. See, that just shows how little you understand of F1.

  8. Aren’t we all glad Verstappen and Hamilton are making comments to spice up a dull pre-season.

    1. Well, the situation is quite bad if these comments have to be considered as spicy…

      1. Yup. Interviewer: ‘Max said this about you”. Hamilton: ‘I do my talking on the track.’ End of conversation.

        Forum goes into meltdown.

    2. Not really. We’re pretty good at amusing ourselves even if drivers say nothing ;)

  9. This is going to be a good fight, unless Mercedes is miles ahead.

    1. There’s also a small matter of Mr Leclerc ….

      1. You say that as if Ferrari won’t find a way to mess it up.

      2. @mrfill Has Leclerc really impressed though? He makes even more mistakes than Verstappen does. Plus his race pace is more often than not even poorer than Vettel’s.

        Sure Vettel is even worse, but is that a sign of greatness for his team mate?

        1. @f1osaurus Leclerc is improving at a considerably faster rate than Verstappen (if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be close enough to Verstappen for the discussion to have started). Any calculation about who is or is not going to be in any impending title fight has to take this into account. Especially since there’s a non-zero chance of it being 2021 before anyone not in a Mercedes can plausibly launch a title fight on sheer technical grounds.

          1. @alianora-la-canta Now you are just makeing stuff up. Leclerc “improved” Q3 pace perhaps, but he did that to the detriment of his race pace. That’s just a matter of strategic choice and a poor one at that.

            Besides, you are completely wrong on the car levels. In 2017 and 2018, a Ferrari driver could/should have won the title. In 2018 with a huge margin even.

            2019 would have been more difficult perhaps, but it could have been massively better for Ferrari too. Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Russia, Mexico should all have been won by a Ferrari driver. Yet they messed all of those up. A great improvement that is …

            Plus Brazil. Plus all those times that Leclerc managed to be so slow on pace during the race that he even ended up behind Verstappen while driving a potentially faster car.

            Granted, Bahrain wasn’t Leclerc’s fault and Monaco also not (entirely), but still.

            Besides, you only have to see the massive thrashing that Ricciardo gave Vettel in 2014. Vettel finished only three ahead of Ricciardo! While Leclerc was only marginally better (or less worse really) than Vettel.

            Leclerc has a massive improvemnt to make and he showed no real progress apart from shifting his focus to Q3 rather than race pace. That’s not improvement as such

  10. Islander says Lewis is the weaker one here.. Ha ha ha ha ! He has 6 world tittles Mr Islander. At 23, Lewis was a world champion with 9 wins to his credit in his 2nd year in F1. He beat the reigning World Champion (Fernando Alonso) in the same car as a rookie. At 23 Lewis had 9 race wins, 13 Pole Positions, and 22 podiums and was 2 years into F1. At the same age and after 2 years in F1, Max had Zero win, Zero pole position, Zero podium. If you compare them after 5 years in F1, Lewis had 17 wins, 19 Pole Positions, and 42 Podiums compared to Max with only has 8 race wins, 2 pole positions, and 9 podiums . Max must just shut up and prove himself on the track 1st before he shoots his big mouth at a legend.

    1. yes…and this was only because of Hamiltons sheer talent and NOT the car….lmao

      1. Hamilton wins plenty races where he’s not in the fastest car each season again. For instance last season: Bahrain, Canada, Hungary, Russia and Mexico should all have been won by a Ferrari or Red Bull driver since they had the faster car.

        Technically Monaco as well since Hamilton was on the wrong tyres to finish that stint. Yet he managed anyway, constantly adjusting his driving style to take more out of the tyres which had it easier.

        The difference in those cases is that he didn’t spin, crash into other cars, say or do stupid things that land him a needless penalty.

    2. Max only turned 22 end of last season.

    1. What is on exactly?

      Verstappen has never won a championship in car-racing before. Not in F3 and not in F1. He’s won a few races in both and looked quite talented, yes, but beyond that he’s defined by being incident and mistake-prone on the track and hot-headed off track. That’s why he lost to Ocon in F3 and it’s a big part of the reason he only finished top 3 overall in F1 for the first time last season despite being in a top 3 car for 4 years already…

      Why would Lewis, as a highly decorated champ and global superstar, worry about any competitor at all in the first place, let alone about one who’s track record suggests he likely won’t hold up under severe pressure (if he can even get in such a prestigious situation in the first place) The kind of pressure Lewis knows he can handle with his eyes closed by now, because he’s been there and done that 6 times before.

      1. “That’s why he lost to Ocon in F3″…LMAO
        1st year in single seater, Midfield car, more race wins than Ocon, extreme reliability issues.

  11. Hilarious. Does his talking on the track…unless he decides to blame his team and/or accuse them of stitching him up.

    Not often. But he has done it at least once a year since the Rosberg era!

    All mind games at the end of the day and I too look forward to seeing it on the race track rather in the interviews!

  12. Well, I now know two drivers who’ll be selected for the first drivers press conference.

    1. Well sId phylyp. But to say LH is afraid of Vers is silly. If he was afraid he would have retired. They are racers. If they didnt believe they can better then they shohld not be in F1.

      1. @phylyp Lol ya good one.

        Wayne Not sure who said LH was afraid of Max but I would disagree with that too. Nor is Max afraid of LH. I think they have a healthy respect for each other for the most part. Ya there’s some superficial stuff said in the media and that is natural for competitors, but let’s keep in mind for every barb, and it’s hardly been vicious, there they are shaking hands and congratulating each other after races. Making civil banter about their races. I think LH plays off Max’s incidences and his get-out-of-my-way-or-else style, saying things like he has to take a wide path when around him, while Max is going to play off LH having the best car and little pressure from a teammate. And life, and the races, the actual history making, will continue to play itself out as time goes along. Can’t wait.

        1. Max could a tried to get a seat at Mercedes for 2022 but instead signed an extension with Red Bull. Yea, he’s scared

  13. Excuse my texting. Well said phylyp…

  14. Hilarious all the crying little Max fans in the comments, another year of tears for you guys. 😄

    1. Lol nah he’ll be too far out front for tears to come into it;)

      1. You never know, he might get emotional when he wins his first WDC this year.

  15. Max chose to sign with Honda and Red Bull, so he is no longer entitled to whine that he is not in the ‘fastest car.’ He made his choice. Put up or shut up.

    And I imagine he’ll have a very hard time keeping up with Leclerc, much less Hamilton.

    Nevertheless, he has already fulfilled his role in formula 1, which is to engage fans. It’s about cash, and he has touched the imagination of many, so he doesn’t really have to win anything for people to take his side.

    1. What a strange comment.

      1. @robbie I don’t get his final paragraph either, but his first two paragraphs are hard to argue with imho.

        1. @jeffreyj First off Max isn’t whining about anything. Secondly, he has beaten both CL and LH upon certain of their on-track encounters. If the point is simply that the 2020 RBR car will be relatively further behind in performance to Ferrari and Mercedes this year than last, then ya ok I guess Max will have a hard time keeping up with CL and LH. If the car is relatively as good or better compared to last year, then Max has already shown what he and his car can do when the opportunity has presented itself.

          The last paragraph, ya nonsensical.

  16. Tbf this was a response to a generic question about what Verstappen and Leclerc have said recently, not relating to any specific quotes. I’m not sure what Leclerc is meant to have said recently, I’m assuming that it must be along the lines of him believing he’d come out on top of the car is the best, anyone have links please?

    Most of the drivers on the grid believe they could win the championship in the right car, they have to otherwise they may as well stay at home.

    Ham has been around to know how to play this game. Ver plays it well too. Both are formidable. The sheer stamina that Ham has during a season is something to behold. There are still question marks over how Verstappen would manage a close season-long battle, but I’ve seen enough to think that he’d rise to the challenge. We could have fireworks!

  17. Think we are reading way too much into these remarks from max and ham. They are both right to some degree (and we know it) so no spicy here. However I do love the lively debate in the comment section. That’s truly spicy lol.

    1. Exactly. Both of them were just answering a question most probably.

      1. Good fun though :-)

  18. Max is bang on. And suggesting Hamilton is driving at 97-98% and thus avoiding errors, is generous.

  19. Max has been swiping at Lewis for months…making snide comments..from God comments, to Hamilton never having a strong teammate comments. Lewis is in Max’s head.

    1. Well to be fair, the ‘god-type’ and ‘love conquers all’ type comments Lewis makes are rather nauseating and embarrassing if you ask me, so I don’t blame VER for commenting on that but downplaying HAM’s success looks rather sour and misplaced imho.

      1. What had Hamilton stating love conquers all got to do with anything? And it was Mad Max making the god comments, not Hamilton. But you are bang on the money re the car comments—Max is just an envious brat.

        1. @amam yeah what I meant was that Lewis often makes these quasi-deep spiritual remarks and personally I don’t appreciate them. As I understood the previous commenter, apparently Max has said something about this as well. If so, then I can agree with Max on disliking that about LH. Downgrading LH’s driving performances like Max does I cannot agree with, however. It’s sour and it’s not a good look for Max to do that imho.

    2. @amam If you think the things Max has said about LH are ‘snide comments’ I think it is Max that is in your head. And saying he is ‘just an envious brat’ actually makes you look the one who has allowed Max under your skin.

      1. @robbie

        He’s an envious brat & no, he’s not in my head.Lewis is in his head

  20. And it starts can’t wait till Leclerc and Ocon get involved :)

  21. I want to see any of those two win the championship without having the 2nd best car on the grid like Senna did in 1991 and Schumacher did in 1994. Let me tell you.
    I think it is better to Lewis and Verstappen to shut up, since none of them have enough talent to accomplish that

    1. What are you talking about. What do you mean winning without the 2nd best car?

      Hamilton won in 2008 in the 2nd best car. Arguably 2018 too…or at the very least, a car that was evenly matched by Ferrari

  22. Hamilton has had 3 world champions as team mates, been given no favours racing them over a season, and beaten them overall. He’s also seen off Vettel and Ferrari the last three seasons. I get Verstappen’s frustrated and itching to take the fight to Lewis, but this comment is just plain wrong:

    If you never really have pressure, then you can always drive it with 97/98% and you never make mistakes

    Last season Hamilton was in a slower car for at least half the season (usually to Ferrari, at some tracks to Red Bull), plus had pressure from Bottas qualifying strongly, so the idea he wasn’t under pressure makes no sense. Failing to acknowledge reality is a sign of weakness – wishful thinking rather than acknowledging the real level of competition. Hamilton’s right on this one.

    1. Well said.

    2. @david-br This comment is spot on.

    3. Great comment. And just look at 2017 & 2018 where Hamilton was behind Vettel at the half way stage (3 quarter stage in 2017). Does Mad Max seriously think Hamilton was feeling no pressure? 2017 & 2018 in particular was very tight between the Merc & Ferrari yet it was in these 2yrs Hamilton hardly made a mistake.

      Verstappen is starting to sound frustrated & desperate, it’s like he’s losing grip on reality.

      1. worst of all, he sounds disrespectful to all quality drivers hamilton had as team mates. 3 of them World Champions.

        Verstappen talks way too much. He has been obsessed with Hamilton lately.

    4. @david-br Realistically how much weight do folks generally give to Buttons WDC, and NR’s. Little around here anyway. What, now to suit your argument those are suddenly great feats LH accomplished?

      Last season LH was in a slower car for half the season? That alone is debatable and depended on the track, but of course mainly you are conveniently ignoring the runaway first half of the season he had, that took away all the real pressure for at least the last half of the season if not six or seven races in.

      As to Max failing to acknowledge reality? As if he of all people does not know everything that is going on from all aspects wrt when LH has had a harder time, and when he has had an easier time to compile his numbers. Were you expecting Max to give an accurate dissertation and put LH on a pedestal at all times? Oh he would if he had to speak about him at an awards ceremony, and they’re generally quite chummy after races, but ya at certain times, often away from the track, there’s going to be the little jabs from both drivers here and there, that are meant to be a bit unfair, or they wouldn’t be a jab, would they?

      LH is not ‘right on this one’ he’s just shooting a subtle jab. Just as Max did. They both have fibbed a bit, or their remarks wouldn’t have been barbs. Did you expect kittens and roses from rivals? I think it is enough that they likely have a very real and healthy respect for each other. As two great racers how could they not have some level of admiration for each other’s craft, for the duels they will have, which is when they will be having the most fun doing what they do?

      1. @robbie

        how much weight do folks generally give to Buttons WDC

        People who don;t think Button’s WDC was an amazing achievement only have their own lack of insight to blame. You might say the WDC was partially gifted because Vettel blundered so many times (3 non-scoring finishes in the first 6 races).

        Still, Button did keep his car on track and he did made the on-track passes when needed while his opponents faltered.

      2. @robbie

        you are conveniently ignoring the runaway first half of the season he had

        – which conveniently ignores the fact Ferrari (and their drivers) threw away races where they were ahead.
        My guess is that Verstappen’s focus on this comments is always on Hamilton at Mercedes once they started winning. That’s natural as Verstappen is basically ignoring the time before he himself arrived in F1. Self-centred but natural, we all do it – the world apparently starts when we’re born. So it come down to how good Rosberg was. I put him at the same level overall as Ricciardo. Just as I put Max around the same level as Hamilton (a fraction lower as I think he’s slightly faster at the cost of being slightly less precise on track than Lewis, and more accident prone – something he could correct but doubt he will). So that kind of matches Ricciardo versus Verstappen at Red Bull, Hamilton versus Rosberg at Mercedes. Was Ricciardo ‘easy,’ ‘no pressure’ for Max? Of course not. He had the better off him but had to work at – as we saw on numerous occasions. So I still think it’s nonsense.
        Hamilton makes it look ‘no pressure.’ That’s his talent! Max in the best car would look the same, I’m sure.

        1. @david-br Does it matter if some of LH’s early season success last year was from Ferrari faltering? Seems it was also because they weren’t nearly as fast as they appeared they would be from pre-season testing, and Mercedes were. Either way, the pressure for the bulk of the season was quite relieved for LH in the first third of the season. I go back to your original claim above that LH had pressure from being in a slower car for ‘half the season,’ and that he also had pressure from VB in quali. And I say, poppycock, but also that if that is what pressure is, then all drivers in F1 can handle the pressure and LH did nothing special then in dealing with ‘such pressure.’

          1. @robbie I’m not sure it’s worth discussing further as you seem unable to assess this in a reasonable manner. But to give an example: Hamilton was clearly under pressure in Monaco qualifying last year. He was being beaten by Bottas in qualifying and knew he had to qualify first to win the race and push back ‘Bottas 2.0’. Which he did. If you saw his body language and heard his comments immediately after, you’ll understand the pressure he was under (and of course this is self-induced pressure, unwilling to accept second place). His relief on winning pole was enormous and very clear. The point is he delivered on his own goal. Can Verstappen handle the pressure in a title race? The answer is we don’t know yet.

          2. @david-br Of course I have assessed it well, and am talking about the overall season, as I thought you were, not one race when LH may or may not have felt some self-induced pressure out of pride. I think that in spite of his self-induced drama and angst over pole in Monaco, his underlying instinct in his head and heart would have been by then ‘sitting pretty good with the dominant car and the lions share of the points so far…can’t ask for more than that.’ And yes of course the ‘more’ would be from a drive for perfection and to win everything, but again, self-induced…not the kind of pressure Max and I are talking about with a genuine teammate taking points from him half the time making for a see-saw battle if not a beating of him. Ala NR, who I guess we can assume Max doesn’t regard highly…or…he does and he’s just needling LH.

            You can’t tell me we didn’t spend at least the last half of the season pretty much resigned to LH winning again and VB not able to do anything about it, while Ferrari tripped on themselves and Max took his car to it’s maximum when he could after a slow start to the season car-wise.

            I’m talking about real pressure as is Max, pressure that’s in his face and ours and is palpable and enthralling. LH getting pole or not in one race when he is cleaning up in general race after race, is not that.

          3. Oh and as to Max handling the pressure? Yeah no denying we haven’t seen him in a car such that he’d be fighting for WDC(s) yet, so that’s an unknown, but methinks Max is up to it bigtime. Born to it. Max in a WCC car is going to be unstoppable. Even, or perhaps especially, in a tighter more driver vs driver formula in 2021.

  23. It’s sad to see this site becoming one of thoose content farms for clickbaiting. RIP f1fanatic.co.uk

    1. I know right and then a few days ago there was this sob story from Dieter about how unprofessional other F1 blogs are.

  24. These are exactly the kind of comments that Hamilton made about Vettel in his Red Bull days.

  25. “It’s very car dependent, of course, in F1,” Verstappen. “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% and you never make mistakes.”

    What’s more a sign of weakness is media people not being able to stop being simple driver fans and not factoring in this obvious point when summing up or ranking.

    1. @balue Lewis has had enough pressured occasions to show this is not generally a problem for him (though occasionally it is).

      1. @alianora-la-canta I was more thinking about Sainz being ranked 3rd best driver on here last year when he had virtually zero pressure (getting a hopeless backmarker to the finish and beating a rookie team mate was the sum of it), whereas Leclerc had massive amounts (Ferrari driver, holding on for the home win at Monza etc) and still performed like a champ.

  26. Has Max won ANY championship in motorsport at ANY level?

    1. Isn’t that a good question. Easy to sound off when you’ve yet to prove you can win a title.
      Verstappen’s career record: 3rd, 3rd, 7th, 12th, 5th, 6th, 4th, 3rd.
      He did come 1st in the Zandvoort Masters in 2014. One race.

      1. He’s won nothing, yet the brat thinks he has the right to trash World champions.

    2. @NeverElectric Yes, I believe he’s won at least one karting title at world level. He hasn’t won a championship in cars yet, but psychological warfare has long since been part of drivers’ armouries. If he’d never scored a point in his life and thought he saw a weakness that was exploitable this way, I could well imagine Max using it because that’s (part of) the form his killer instinct takes.

  27. Hamilton can see what the fan boys can’t and thats max is another vettel, a show driver and one that cracks under pressure

  28. Max Verstappen’s trash talk technique needs work. He needs to get it to Nico Rosberg levels before Lewis Hamilton will even notice.

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