Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, was invited to respond to Lewis Hamilton’s recent comments regarding Max Verstappen.
Hamilton’s Comments on Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton, who recently signed a new contract with Mercedes until the end of 2025, suggested that the nearly 3-time world champion hadn’t faced the challenge of racing against formidable teammates. Hamilton stated he was “no more impressed” by Verstappen than by previous F1 world champions and questioned the caliber of Verstappen’s teammates.
Verstappen, who had built a significant lead in the world championship, was aiming for a record 10th consecutive Grand Prix win at the Italian Grand Prix. While Verstappen received widespread acclaim for his performances, Hamilton seemed more impressed by the overall team effort. Hamilton remarked in an interview with Sky Italy, “I’m no more impressed than when Michael [Schumacher] was leading, when Sebastian [Vettel] was leading, when Kimi [Raikkonen] was driving, or when Fernando [Alonso] was winning – it’s the same.”
Hamilton Praises Red Bull Team
He also praised the strength of the Red Bull team, saying, “The car is incredible, the driver’s doing an amazing job – very consistent, the pit crew are doing a great job, the mechanics are doing a good job, and the strategy’s on point – you can’t fault them.” Hamilton pointed out the disparity between Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez, who had only finished on the podium four times during Verstappen’s nine-race winning streak.
Hamilton on Media’s Reaction
Hamilton felt he wasn’t given the same credit for consistently outperforming his former teammate Valtteri Bottas and believed Verstappen’s dominance was more amplified.
He stated, “The narrative in the media… you know, when I qualified half a second or six tenths ahead of Valtteri, they didn’t react the same way as they do today when Max qualifies six tenths ahead of Perez – it’s blown up much more.”
Hamilton also believed that his teammates, including Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, and Nico Rosberg, were stronger than those Verstappen had raced against.
“In my personal opinion, Valtteri, and actually all my team-mates, have been stronger than the team-mates that Max has had.
“Jenson [Button], Fernando [Alonso], George [Russell], Valtteri… Nico [Rosberg] – I’ve had so many.
“These guys have all been very consistent, and Max has not raced against anyone like that.”
Kravitz Questions Horner
On Friday, British Sky Sports F1 Ted Kravitz put Hamilton’s comment to the hears to the Red Bull Racing boss.
Kravitz: What’s your response to the comment Lewis made yesterday in an interview where he says that Max has never had teammates as strong as he has had throughout his career? Max has never been tested by a teammate the way that Lewis has been tested by Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas, or others in his career. What do you make of that?
Horner: I mean, he’s had several teammates, and he’s always had the upper hand over them. But it’s not just about competing against teammates; it’s about competing against the rest of the field as well. So, I think Max has clearly demonstrated what he’s capable of. In fact, some drivers might not even want to drive alongside him.
Kravitz: Yeah, okay, I think I see what you’re saying.
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