“What do you think about Max Verstappen’s pace?” – Lewis Hamilton chooses to pay greater emphasis on external factor

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he is far more impressed with the Red Bull car this year than the driving ability of its star racer Max Verstappen.

Having previously labelled Red Bull “just a sports drink company”, Hamilton agreed that he was way off the mark and paid rich compliments to the team’s chief car designer Adrian Newey.

There has been no catching Red Bull and Max Verstappen all season and the team looks set to pick up both the constructors’ championship and the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton’s fortunes at Mercedes have been quite different this year and the team is yet to get a single race win after failing to adapt to the new regulations for this season.

“I’m more impressed with Adrian Newey and his team,” said Hamilton.

“I think the team, it is a great team. They’ve generally had really great cars. I think they used to have really high ride height and more drag than before, but I think they’ve realised this year that their engine isn’t actually slower than others.

“They’ve done a fantastic job.”

Hamilton apologises for ‘sports drink company’ comment

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autosport.com
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autosport.com

Regarding his previous comments over Red Bull just being a “sports drink company”, Hamilton was quick to apologise.

“Anything I would have said in the past about the team… I didn’t mean it in a negative way,” Hamilton said.

“A few years ago I said something about them being a drinks company and it was really just highlighting that you would bet on a car manufacturer more than them. But they’ve proved me wrong, and they’ve done a great job.

“Adrian obviously did his thesis on ground effect cars at university so it’s no surprise what he’s done this year. It’s impressive. But I believe in the young guns in my team that we’ll catch up.”

“They’ve clearly got the aero balance great, they’ve got great ride quality, it doesn’t ever have any problems with bumps.

“When you’ve got a stable platform like that… his understanding has definitely been an advantage to them and they’ve done a great job.”

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