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Lewis Hamilton: F1 pundit hits back at Max Verstappen’s dad over jibe | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton: F1 pundit hits back at Max Verstappen’s dad over jibe | F1 | Sport 1052842 1

Hamilton cruised to an 11th win of the year in Abu Dhabi a week ago to conclude the 2018 season, finishing 88 points ahead of runner-up Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

The five-time world champion had a stellar season despite, at the halfway mark, having looked likely to face major competition from Vettel.

The Mercedes star pulled away in the second half of the year as the Silver Arrows secured double titles for the fifth successive season.

But Jos declared that son Max in his Red Bull might have posed a strong test had his car been on level pegging with the Brit’s package, calling it “a bit more convenient” for Hamilton when he starts regularly from pole.

He said: “Max was forced to make a number of moves [in Abu Dhabi] for him to be able to get third place.

“Looking at Hamilton, he starts from pole and then wins the race, you don’t need to take such risks. Then it’s easily said that you are the better driver. For sure he also has the better car.”

Yet former driver and Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle insists such criticism is not conclusive – because Hamilton has seen off the competition of his team-mates in the same car.

The only year in the last five in which Hamilton failed to finish as No 1 was in 2016, when he finished five points behind Nico Rosberg after a tense rivalry with the German.

Brundle wrote: “Lewis has been outstanding this year and it does, in fact, appear that he keeps getting even better.

“He’s aced the crossover between experience, speed, fitness, bravery, technical knowledge, patience and politics.

“The right man won the championship. People say he’s got the best car, but then so has Valtteri Bottas and so did Nico Rosberg. Lewis remains the man to beat.”

Speaking to Autosport, both Hamilton and Vettel believe Verstappen will be in title contention in 2019.

Hamilton said: “Max has been driving very well throughout the year and has shown his consistency and has been up here many, many times with us.

”So, if his team does the job and delivers a platform with which he can compete even closer with us, then of course he’ll be in the fight.”

And Vettel – who won four straight championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013 – added: “I think he’s got all the ingredients. There’s a couple of guys out there who have these qualities and Max is certainly one of them.

“I also remember from my time, it’s important to have a competitive package throughout the season and Red Bull are certainly very, very strong.

“I think they put more performance to their car than any other team across the year, so obviously that allowed them to be very competitive.

“Max and Daniel [Ricciardo] have proven that they can be very, very quick and very consistent so I’m sure [we will see] more of him.”

Source : EXPRESS

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