In the midst of an enthralling Lewis Hamilton battle, Max Verstappen tells his F1 rivals that he hasn’t reached his top yet.
Lewis Hamilton has been warned by Max Verstappen that he has yet to reach his top performance level in the sport.
As the 23-year-old pursues his first world title, Max Verstappen has warned Lewis Hamilton that he has yet to reach his optimum performance level in the sport and does not expect to be at the top of his game until his “early thirties.”
With a level playing field of three wins each, the championship leader now has a 12-point lead over his Mercedes opponent Hamilton coming to Austria.
It’s the first time Red Bull has led since 2013, when Mercedes dominated the hybrid era with seven consecutive constructor titles and seven consecutive driver crowns, with Hamilton destroying record after record with the incumbent world champions.
However, the standings have shifted this season, with Verstappen leading the way ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.
Red Bull has increased their lead in the Constructors’ Championship to 37 points.
In an interview with Formula.com, Verstappen reminded rivals that he still has a lot more to give.
“Hopefully, you’ll see that when I’m in my early thirties,” Verstappen added. “I’m only 23 years old. I only expect to improve in the future years, but there’s no hurry; these things develop organically, and you can’t force them.”
All season, Verstappen and Hamilton have gone wheel-to-wheel for race wins, with Red Bull and Mercedes bickering on and off the track.
Despite how close their races have been this season, Verstappen believes he hasn’t learned anything new from Hamilton, who he has raced alongside since his F1 debut in 2015.
“There isn’t much that surprises me this year compared to previous years; of course, you study your competitors, but I also look back at myself,” he concluded.
“Of course, when you look at others, they have good attributes, but I’m not a man who copies; I’m always listening and looking, but at the end of the day, you have to look at yourself and see where you can develop and be better.
“You can only be as excellent as you copy, so it doesn’t work for me.”
Red Bull has been building on the pressure all season, beginning with Verstappen’s dominance in Bahrain testing. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”