Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko reckons Lewis Hamilton has learned a lesson in 2021, saying he found out what Max Verstappen was all about.
Hamilton and Verstappen battled for the world championship in 2021. After an intense season, it went the way of the latter, but it went all the way to an overtake on the last lap of the last race.
Throughout the season, there was a stark difference in driving styles. While Hamilton was a lethal assassin waiting for his moment to strike, Verstappen was ruthless and elbows-out.
As such, Marko reckoned Hamilton has learned a lesson fighting Verstappen, saying he found that out through a great display from the champion.
“You could see he drove the car so over the limit, that was visible,” he said in conversation with Austrian magazine Autorevue, as quoted by formula1news.co.uk.
“And in the races, Hamilton should already know you can’t leave the smallest gap open to Verstappen. He’s already stabbing you before the other person sees him in the rear-view mirror.
“This incredible willpower with the necessary talent makes all the difference.”
“You can’t possibly compare them because they all raced in different periods,” the 78-year-old explained.
“What they all have is a complete focus. You could also call it ruthlessness.
“There is nothing else but ‘I want to win and I’ll do anything for it.’ And they grow beyond possibilities that don’t normally exist. That reminds me of Max’s qualifying lap in Jeddah,” he concluded.
Verstappen won the championship despite a late comeback form Hamilton in the last stage of the season. He was chasing Hamilton’s dust throughout the title-deciding Abu Dhabi GP, but a late and bizarre call from the FIA allowed him to win the title in controversial fashion.