Max Verstappen tipped to ‘have the edge’ over Lewis Hamilton in the same car

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen walks past Lewis Hamilton. Hungary, Budapest July 2023.

Max Verstappen walks past Lewis Hamilton after qualifying at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Both Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard backed Max Verstappen to overcome Lewis Hamilton if the two World Champions were to share a car now, with the former team boss and driver agreeing that the Red Bull driver is in a “sweet spot” in his career.

Since their titanic battle for the 2021 title ended in controversial fashion, Verstappen took a record 15 race victories on his way to his second crown last season and has won 10 of the 12 races so far in 2023.

Hamilton has still been a regular on the podium, but went through his first ever winless season in Formula 1 last year as Mercedes struggled for pace, and his team have yet to close the gap to the dominant Red Bull driver this time around.

Max Verstappen tipped to beat Lewis Hamilton if ‘Prost/Senna’-esque partnership happened

How two of the best drivers in the sport would match up as team-mates is a popular question to ask in Formula 1, namely because of how rarely it occurs because of the metaphorical fireworks that can happen when two drivers in the same team fight for top honours.

The prospect of a ‘super-team’ between Verstappen and Hamilton is an unlikely one in future, but it still lends itself to discussion about who could come out on top in a theoretical partnership between the two.

Responding to a listener question on the Formula For Success podcast about who would emerge victorious in the same car between Verstappen and Hamilton, Jordan initially replied: “Well, it depends. I think it’s only fair if you’re saying the same car, you’ve got to talk about age – [both drivers] at the same age as well, and the same level of experience.”

But when Coulthard questioned him and asked if Hamilton is now too old to go “head-to-head” with Verstappen if they were to be placed in the same car, Jordan believes the Red Bull driver would come out in front.

“I don’t think it’s over; I think he’d still win Grands Prix, but he will need certain things to fall into place for him,” Jordan said of Hamilton.

“I think Lewis has emerged in the last couple of races, been very strong, and I’m hugely impressed with what he’s doing.

“But I think Max is at that sweet spot for age, experience, belief, knowledge, the people he’s been around with the team – he’s in a very solid, safe structure.

“It’s going to take some job to knock him off that perch, and I think that in the same car right at this moment, as we speak with the same ages [they are now], then it has to be Max.”

Coulthard added that the seven-time World Champion is still right on form, but agreed with the former F1 team boss in his opinion that the current champion is in a “sweet spot” in his career, and the additional “baggage” that age and experience brings will now be in Hamilton’s mind as he races.

“I still reckon Lewis has got it, and I think that they are both exceptional. They’re not great racing drivers, they’re exceptional,” Coulthard said.

“Look, if they were in the same team, which would never happen, I think there would be some contact, it would be sort of Prost-Senna [like]. recommends

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“I’ve got to say that Max is, as you say, he’s in that sweet spot. [At] 25 years old, to have done what he’s done in his time in Formula 1, he’s got to have the edge.

“I think what happens through life and even if you’re very successful, you get baggage with life, don’t you?

“When you’re younger, you don’t know what you don’t know, so you don’t worry about what you don’t know. As you get older, then you gain experience and you can make better decisions, but all of that very nice baggage that Lewis has to carry just starts to fill up your mind.

“So he’s, it would appear to me, a busy boy off track with all of his other passions and, as we know, Max when he’s off track is very much focused on his simulator, his e-gaming team, and I think he’s still totally immersed in anything to do with driving.”

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