Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen can turn from rising young star into title contender, but has another top three in mind for the battle at the top next season.
Hamilton and Verstappen are yet to truly go head-to-head on the track, yet the four-time World Champion knows the Dutchman could cause him problems in the future.
“He can be a title contender,” Hamilton told Sky Sports News.
“His abilities at the core are fantastic and we’ve all seen that come to light with the great car he’s racing in and the great team he’s racing in.”
Whilst we await to see whether Red Bull can be competitive from the very start of the season, Hamilton is hoping that a revival from his former team McLaren can mean that three heavyweights can fight for the title.
“I’m hoping McLaren with the new engine on board can hopefully rise from the drought and come back into a positive light and be the great team they are,” Hamilton added.
“Myself, Sebastian and Fernando… that’s what’s on the top of my mind.”