Lewis Hamilton comments on Max Verstappen team-mates resurface after shock Red Bull talks

Michelle Foster
Race winner Max Verstappen speaking with Lewis Hamilton after the race.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in serious conversation.

Having spoken with Christian Horner about joining Max Verstappen at Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton’s comments about the Dutchman only having weak team-mates have resurfaced.

But perhaps Hamilton thought, finally the World Champion would have competition.

Red Bull team boss Horner revealed on Wednesday night that Hamilton’s people had approached him prior to the seven-time World Champion signing his latest Mercedes contract back in August.

Lewis Hamilton’s people ‘reached out’ to Red Bull

And it wasn’t the first time.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Horner said: “We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining.

“They have reached out a few times. Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest.

“But I can’t see Max and Lewis working out together. The dynamic wouldn’t be right. We are 100 per cent happy with what we have.”

It’s a dynamic that many would argue would yield the strongest line-up on the grid, but as the saying goes ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’, and it’s a headache Red Bull would not want.

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Lewis Hamilton questions calibre of Max Verstappen’s team-mates

The niggles between the two have made headlines over the course of the past three seasons, starting back in 2021 when they went wheel-to-wheel for the World title.

Since then, though, Red Bull and Verstappen have be runaway victors with the Dutchman winning 15 races last season while this year he has 18 out of 21 wins.

With his team-mate Sergio Perez only winning two each season, Hamilton questioned the calibre of Verstappen’s team-mates earlier this season.

Since joining Red Bull, he’s partnered Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and today it is Perez who sits in the other Red Bull.

But according to Hamilton none of them had been on a par with Verstappen, who has not raced “strong” team-mates.

“In my personal opinion, all my team-mates have been stronger than the team-mates Max has had: Jenson, Fernando, George, Valtteri, Nico,” he told Sky F1.

“I’ve had so many. These guys have all been very, very strong, very consistent – and Max has not raced against anyone like that.”

As such the 103-time Grand Prix says he’s not particularly impressed with the Dutchman’s run of success as it belongs to Red Bull.

“I’m no more impressed than when Michael [Schumacher] was leading, when Sebastian [Vettel] was leading when Kimi [Raikkonen] was driving, when Fernando was winning – it’s just the same,” he added.

“I think the [Red Bull] team as a whole is one of the strongest, they’re firing on all cylinders right now.”

Max Verstappen fired back

Verstappen clearly didn’t appreciate Hamilton’s comments about his success nor his team-mates, and accused the Mercedes driver of being jealous.

He told the Briton and Mercedes to “work harder” instead of “shouting and screaming” about others.

“Maybe he’s a little jealous of my current success,” Verstappen said. “This kind of statement… he possibly thinks he’s winning something with that, but it makes no difference to me.

“I think Mercedes have a very hard time dealing with losing, after all these years of winning so much. At some point, you have to be realistic and then you have to be able to appreciate what other teams are doing.

“We did the same when they were dominant and we also said, ‘We have to work harder because we are not good enough’.

“You can keep shouting and screaming that what we do is not that special… you just have to deal with yourself.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Horner, who said: “He’s had several team-mates, obviously he’s always had the upper hand on his team-mates.

“But it’s not just been about competing against team-mates, it’s about competing against the rest of the field as well.

“And I think that Max has clearly demonstrated what he’s capable of. And indeed, some drivers might not even want to drive alongside him!”

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