Max Verstappen sent offer to quit Red Bull and join F1 rival keen to be his team-mate
Max Verstappen has hit back at Lewis Hamilton after the Brit insisted that all of his former team-mates were superior to those that Verstappen has raced alongside at Red Bull. Hamilton has been more outspoken since penning his new contract at Mercedes, previously taking a jab at Verstappen after the Italian Grand Prix.
After the Dutchman took victory at Monza, his 10th consecutive race win, Hamilton insisted that none of Verstappen’s team-mates have been up to the calibre that the seven-time world champion faced when he was at the top of the grid. He praised the Red Bull team for their dominance, but then made an intriguing comparison.
“In my personal opinion, all my team-mates have been stronger than the team-mates Max has had,” Hamilton said. “Jenson [Button], Fernando [Alonso], George [Russell], Valtteri [Bottas], Nico [Rosberg]. I’ve had so many. These guys have all been very, very strong, very consistent – and Max has not raced against anyone like that.”
Verstappen was not best pleased with Hamilton’s comments, but made sure to point out that several of his current and previous team-mates finished ahead of the 38-year-old shortly after Hamilton took aim at them.
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“It’s not nice of Hamilton towards the teammates I had, but it is ironic that after that interview of his in Monza, many of my teammates were ahead of him in qualifying,” said Verstappen. “I am not focused on others, but on my own performance. I respect the dominance of others and Lewis’ past titles. In my opinion, it doesn’t have to be about other people’s teammates.
“It’s about your own performance, how you perform in your race weekends and how you work together with your team. The rest is secondary. Maybe there is a little jealousy. Nice for Netflix? That doesn’t really matter to me.”
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Verstappen then went on to further stress that Hamilton’s comments won’t have any bearing on him ahead of the upcoming Singapore GP. “I don’t lose sleep over it,” he added. “I do my thing here, go home again after the weekend, do my thing there and then I don’t have much to do with Formula 1.”
Hamilton and the rest of the grid have been unable to match Red Bull and Verstappen, as the team have won every single race so far this season while the Dutch star has claimed victory in each of the previous 10 Grand Prix.
Current team-mate Sergio Perez has been criticised despite winning two races so far this season, equalling his record, but his performances especially in qualifying have been underwhelming and even prompted rumours that he could lose his seat – with Hamilton clearly of the opinion that Verstappen is not being challenged by Perez.
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