Max Verstappen on why Lewis Hamilton’s Red Bull claim does not add up

Mark Scott
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the pre-season photo call. Bahrain February 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the pre-season photo call in Bahrain.

Max Verstappen is not paying too much attention to Lewis Hamilton’s claim that the Red Bull RB19 is quicker than any car Mercedes produced during their dominant reign during the turbo hybrid era.

Rewind back to round two of the F1 2023 season at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Red Bull had just secured their second 1-2 result of the year – albeit with Sergio Perez crossing the finish line first ahead of Verstappen.

The reigning World Champion recovered from a P15 start on the grid to a P2 finish and, in the process, blasted his way past old title foe Lewis Hamilton.

In the aftermath of the race in Jeddah, Hamilton was asked if Red Bull’s dominance was going to be a bad sign for the sport and that prompted a response which caused quite the debate as to where the RB19 ranks amongst the most dominant F1 cars in recent times.

Hamilton replied: “I don’t know, it’s not for me to say, but I’ve never seen a car so fast.

“When we were fast, we weren’t that fast. That’s the fastest car I’ve seen compared to the rest. I don’t know why or how but he came past me with serious speed.

“I didn’t even bother to block because there was a massive speed difference.”

Verstappen was asked about those comments in a recent interview with the Dutch press and thinks that records show Hamilton’s claim does not completely add up and he is perhaps overlooking just how dominant Mercedes were during the turbo hybrid era.

“I think if you look at the statistics, then those statements are not correct,” Verstappen said, as quoted by RacingNews365 NL.

“But we also do have a very good car.Nothing wrong with that, of course. Still, we are not as dominant as Mercedes has shown some years.

“I don’t pay much attention to that, that doesn’t get you anywhere.

“Whatever we have done in the eight years that Mercedes is so dominant, we also tried to close the gap. That’s the only thing you can do.”

In terms of closing that gap, Mercedes are continuing to be hard at work in making the “radical”, as Toto Wolff put it, and necessary changes to the W14 that will hopefully see more competitive action at the top of the F1 field on a regular basis.

Mercedes have pinpointed the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on May 19-21 as the key date in the F1 diary to unleash their new W14.’s recommended reading

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