Stewart and Massa ready to see Verstappen win title

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Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen at the Belgian Grand Prix. Belgium August 2016

Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen on the starting grid at the Belgian Grand Prix. Belgium August 2016

Jackie Stewart and Felipe Massa would both like to see Max Verstappen win the title this year and think he’ll do it.

With four races to go, things are looking good for the Red Bull driver, with him taking a 19-point lead over Lewis Hamilton to the next round, the Brazilian Grand Prix.

If he does manage to win his first title, it’ll be the first time a driver other than Hamilton has won the championship since the Brit lost out to Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Stewart is ready for such a change and thinks that it would be good for the sport.

“Mercedes-Benz has been doing this for so many years now and got success for so many years,” he told Sky Sports.

“It is time we had a change. For all of our viewers and everybody else, we need a change. It will only be a bigger challenge for Lewis to overtake again.”

He’s also expecting the Dutchman to prevail, not least because he’s with a team that has experience of winning titles, even if not particularly recently.

“I think Verstappen is going to win it,” he said.

“I think the Red Bull now is going, the Honda is obviously good, very good, the team knows how to win.”

Massa feels similarly to the Scot, supporting Verstappen as he doesn’t enjoy seeing the team and driver winning all the time.

“It’s already great that this year there are two teams fighting for the championship,” he told Sky Italia.

“And if Verstappen wins, he’s someone new, a different name. He deserves the championship, this is clear, I don’t like always seeing the same person winning.”

The Brazilian battled Hamilton for a title himself in 2008, losing out on the final lap of the final race in Brazil, and while he thinks Verstappen will prevail this time around, he’s not ruling it more late drama.

“We saw Verstappen has won more,” he said.


“But we know the championship can finish at the last corner of the last race. We know everything can change, maybe in one race where something does not go in the right direction for one of them.

“We will see in these last few races, but in my opinion, Verstappen looks very good, with his mindset, he doesn’t make a single mistake during all the championship. For sure some crashes happened with Hamilton but it’s a fight for the championship.

“So I would bet on Verstappen this time.”

Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla 


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