Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has been on top form since the past three races, winning two of them. Naturally, this has led to many people comparing him to rival, Lewis Hamilton. However, the Dutchman is not at all bothered about being pitted against the Mercedes driver.
Verstappen arrived in Hungary on the back of a win in Hockenheim and heading into the summer break on a high note. The 21-year old Dutchman has seized victory in two of the last three races, including the rain-hit German Grand Prix.
He has been highly consistent, finishing in the top five at the last 20 rounds and has established himself as a serious contender. Red Bull boss Christian Horner even boasted that Max Verstappen would beat Hamilton in identical machinery.
Horner even found support from former world champions Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg. Rosberg even claimed that if Verstappen was in a Mercedes, he would be leading Hamilton in the championship. However, Max Verstappen refused to get cocky about the comparisons.
“I don’t say anything about this and I don’t care,” said Verstappen. “For me, the most important thing is to perform on track.
“I made a big jump into Formula One and I made mistakes when I started. I am still getting better. I am only 21 and you learn how to become better through experience.”
Thought-provokingly, Christian Horner and the droves o Max Verstappen supporter could be jumping the gun. Although the Dutchman is highly talented, Hamilton is 42 points clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. In other words, he is in a prime position to clinch his sixth world title.
Verstappen is said to be Formula One’s youngest starter at 17-years old on his debut. As it turned out, he did not even have a road licence when he made his debut. At the age of 18, he is the sport’s youngest winner, in his first appearance for Red Bull in Spain in 2017. However, he missed out on a chance at being the youngest pole sitter.
Verstappen’s orange army follow him across Europe. Such is Verstappen’s pull that remarkably one million people have applied for tickets at his home race in the Netherlands next May. A ballot will be held for the 110,000 seats available at the Zandvoort race, Holland’s first grand prix in 36 years.
Mercedes are courting Verstappen and there has been a suggestion they could move for the Dutch star as early as next year, putting him alongside Hamilton in a blockbuster line-up. It seems unlikely with 18 months still to run on Verstappen’s £20million-a-year deal at Red Bull.
“I have not heard from Lewis saying he wants to join Red Bull,” Horner joked when asked if such a driver pairing would be good for the sport. “You can see positives and negatives in that scenario.
“Max is still a young guy. He has been driving at a very high standard and he delivered a phenomenal performance last weekend to keep his head in varying conditions. Max is arguably the most in-form driver on the grid. His situation with us is clear.”
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