Lewis Hamilton continues to downplay Max Verstappen’s new record for the most successive wins in Formula 1, reiterating his belief that he’s had to race against “strong teammates”.
Hamilton raised eyebrows on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix when the Briton disparaged the calibre of Verstappen’s teammates as the Dutchman prepared to race for a record-breaking 10th win on the trot.
“In my personal opinion,” he told Sky F1, “all my team-mates have been stronger than the teammates Max has had: Jenson, Fernando, George, Valtteri, Nico.
Lewis Hamilton doubles down on stronger teammates claim
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
“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 hit back by calling Hamilton a “little jealous” and promptly overtook Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the track at Monza to secure his 10th win in a row, claiming the Formula 1 record.
Hamilton, who’s only ever strung together five on the trot, responded to that by saying he doesn’t care for records.
“I mean I don’t care about statistics in general,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com. “Good for him.”
He reiterated his belief that he’s had stronger teammates which meant the wins have been more evenly shared.
“Yeah, I had strong teammates,” he said. “Valtteri [Bottas] was quick a lot of times.”
It was Nico Rosberg who ended Hamilton’s 2014 streak of five in a row, the German winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, while in 2020 Covid put paid to his second five-race run.
Little did Hamilton and Mercedes know that in 2021 Verstappen and Red Bull would hit the front, the Dutchman taking the World title off Hamilton at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
In the two years since Abu Dhabi Verstappen has won 27 of the 36 grands prix while in his last 25 appearances, he has failed to win just four times. Hamilton hasn’t won a race since 2021.
His dismissal of Verstappen’s record is in line with Toto Wolff’s, the Austrian saying “those numbers are for Wikipedia and nobody reads that anyway.”
He went on to tell the media at Monza: “For me, these kinds of records are completely irrelevant. They were irrelevant in our good days in Mercedes.
“I don’t know how many races we won in a row. I didn’t even know that there was a count of how many wins in a row, so if you are asking me to comment on the achievement it is difficult because it never played a role in my own life until I heard about it yesterday.
“The result itself shows a great driver in a great car, who is competing on an extremely high level.”