Mercedes has been chastised for exhibiting weakness after Max Verstappen was deemed’superior’ to Lewis Hamilton.
Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton is expected to be dethroned by Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen is expected to end Lewis Hamilton’s reign of terror this season, according to Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula One world champion. Verstappen has been dubbed “superior” by Villeneuve, who claims Hamilton and Mercedes are more prone to errors than Red Bull Racing.
Hamilton surged ahead of Verstappen in the World Drivers’ Championship standings after winning the Russian Grand Prix in difficult conditions last weekend.
The British driver currently leads the Constructors’ Championship by two points ahead of next Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix, with Mercedes 33 points ahead of Red Bull.
Villeneuve, on the other hand, has chastised Mercedes and Hamilton for displaying signs of weakness during the 2021 season.
This year, he believes Verstappen is’superior’ to the seven-time world champion, owing to his drive to attack.
Due to Verstappen’s title challenge, Villeneuve also advised Hamilton needed to ‘wake up’ this year.
According to Corriere Della Sera, he said: “Verstappen is the best; he didn’t make any serious errors. He was always on the offensive.
“Lewis, on the other hand, revealed his flaws. Mercedes, more than Red Bull, is also a contender.
“He [Hamilton] had an easy life after [Nico] Rosberg. Perhaps he had dozed off a little; this year, he awoke abruptly. However, it continues to be a phenomenon.” The Italian Grand Prix saw title rivals Hamilton and Verstappen engage in their latest on-track brawl.
The Dutchman tried to pass Hamilton, but the two locked wheels and collided, sending the Dutchman crashing into the gravel and out of the race.
In the Russian Grand Prix, Verstappen was given a three-place grid penalty, although Villeneuve objected to the penalty.
“Max was aggressive: he could have cut the chicane, but that would have required him to give up the position,” Villeneuve added.
“Lewis had the option of leaving 10cm extra, but he preferred to stay in front. It appeared to be a series of intentions.
“You can’t punish someone who thinks he did it on purpose since the touch happens meters before the maneuver becomes intentional.”
Verstappen is always aggressive, and he is especially more aggressive with Hamilton. When you put them in the same corner, they exaggerate, but these are all part of the F1 experience.
“If a penalty is triggered every time, there will be no competitiveness since no one will try to pass.”