Max Verstappen: ‘We agree Lewis is one of the best F1 drivers ever’

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton hasn’t had “any rivals outside his own team” recently, but also acknowledges the Briton is “one of the best Formula 1 drivers ever”.

As the 2021 championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is heating up, so is their battle of words in the media.

After a few quips from both drivers here and there, Hamilton said he is not interested in playing any ‘childish mind games’.

However, journalists keep insisting on these ‘mind games’, so they asked Verstappen if he feels he is ready for a mental battle with Lewis.

“I think that’s nonsense. I’m quite strong mentally and know what I need to do to win,” the Dutch driver told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Also, Hamilton has not had to fight for the title for years. That year with Vettel was not a real title fight anyway.

“People say what they want to say. I know I have to be fast and I’m just waiting for my chance to fight for the title.”

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Verstappen says he is ready to take the challenge to Lewis, but also acknowledges the Briton is “one of the best Formula 1 drivers ever”.

“As a team we have to keep putting pressure on Mercedes if we want them to start making mistakes.

“Lewis has almost always beaten his team-mates, which is why we agree he is one of the best Formula 1 drivers ever.

“But Mercedes has been so dominant in recent years that he hasn’t had any rivals outside his own team. Even Ferrari had that in their golden years.

“I hope this will be one of those rare championships where the battle goes on until the end of the season.

“We can win the title with Red Bull, and that’s why I race,” concluded Verstappen.

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