Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen “has a championship winning car”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen and Red Bull have a “championship winning car”, and they will win the title if Lewis and Mercedes ‘don’t do their job’.

At the Spanish Grand Prix Thursday press conference Lewis Hamilton talked about the challenge Red Bull poses in 2021.

“You’re seeing the closest battle we’ve seen for some time,” said the Briton.

“You’re seeing Max performing exceptionally well and look, he has a championship winning car, no doubt and a championship winning team who can really pull off the job this year if we don’t do our job.

“I definitely think experience will help us in terms of how we approach weekends and how we battle back from tough weekends.

“I think from my side, I would like to think experience will help but you still have to do the job, minimal mistakes.

“Reliability is going to be a big deal this year, and as you’ve seen, even these fastest lap extra points are going to be significant by the end of the year.”

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During pre-season testing Mercedes seemed to lag behind Red Bull quite a bit, but once the season started they managed to bring the fight to, and beat the Austrian team. Hamilton believes Mercedes’ success is down to their performance on race weekends.

“Definitely the first test didn’t look great and at the first race we were still up there but you could see the deficit from us to the Red Bulls.

“But I think in terms of overall output through the weekend, we’ve managed to do a better job.

“We really can’t continue to rely on mistakes from others, we’ve got to get our heads down and continue to work.

“We’ve got a good package but it does have its weak areas that we need to continue to work on. In terms of my side, I’m really happy with the output.

“Naturally you’re always trying to raise the bar, make as few mistakes as possible but they’ve been there but I’m grateful for them as they make you stronger when you learn from them,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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