Lewis Hamilton favoured in Max Verstappen debate due to ‘tougher’ career path

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) celebrate on the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, 2023.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are at odds over Sprint weekends.

Eddie Jordan has said the adversity Lewis Hamilton faced in his younger days means he has the edge overall, still, on Max Verstappen.

With Max Verstappen wrapping up his third World Championship during the Qatar Grand Prix, he edges just a little bit closer to the all-time record of seven titles – shared by Michael Schumacher and Verstappen’s contemporary rival Lewis Hamilton.

With the Dutch driver’s momentum showing no sign of slowing, the question mark over whether it’s he or Hamilton that is the superior driver is a question that’s sure to rage for years to come – and Eddie Jordan has had a go at answering it.

Eddie Jordan: The gap between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton is tiny

The former F1 team boss was asked to pick between the three-time World Champion and seven-time World Champion, and the Irishman offered his opinion in his own inimitable style.

“Well, in my opinion, I’m a little bit biased towards the old guys,” Jordan told the UK’s talkSport.

“I just think Verstappen has had it quite easy coming through – his mother [Sophie Kumpen] was a brilliant driver, and his father Jos drove for me way back years ago.

“So I know the family growing up, whereas it was never easy for Lewis. We know there was a colour issue, there were all sorts of issues coming through, and his father [Anthony Hamilton] had three jobs to bring him through to it.

“I think his path, his journey, was a tougher path. So therefore, I’m slightly biased towards Lewis, because I think adversity and all of those things come into play in confidence and will to win and being picked up by the right people. But it’s minimal.

“The gap between those two is tiny.”

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Eddie Jordan: Max Verstappen is going to win 10 titles

But while Jordan gave the nod to Hamilton overall, the Irishman believes Verstappen’s position at Red Bull puts him in a favourable position – and thinks he could go as far as 10 world titles.

“I think Max now, after what we’ve seen this year, he edges in front of Lewis, which in a way, most people never thought that could ever happen,” he said.

“Beware, guys, the best seven-times World Champion Lewis Hamilton and seven-times Michael Schumacher, this kid, first up, he’s gonna push it over 10, no question.

“The thing is, we’ve got to keep Adrian Newey alive because he’s the kingpin. He makes that car. He’s just the most incredible, probably the most successful ever racecar designer on this planet.

“He’s just a genius, year after year, despite the fact that he wants to retire.

“He lives in Cape Town and I have a place right beside him. So we talk a lot about it on our bicycles. He’s on the edge and he’s just so goddamn clever. It’s scary when you’re talking to him because he’s way outside my league, in many respects. I can’t even talk to the guy!”

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