Lewis Hamilton is one of the best drivers to have raced in Formula 1. It is beyond question that he was part of some healthy rivalries along the way. The British driver says that his fight with Verstappen for the drivers’ title this year is nowhere close to his rivalry with Vettel.

“Racing with Max, he doesn’t have the background Seb has,” Hamilton said.

“Max has the chance of being a future champion. Whether that’s now or later depends on the job the team and I do.”

In a press conference, Hamilton, while sitting beside Vettel, explained why he held races with the German in high regard.

“Knowing how hard it is to be where we are today,” he said.

“I was racing against an incredible driver, and not only that but a great man. And as we were racing against another team who were very strong at the time.

“It took a lot out of both of us to remain focused and deliver weekend in, weekend out. It was a difficult period but it brought us closer because the respect we have between us is huge. It is different now.”

The seven-time world champion had an amazing start to the new season after beating Verstappen at Bahrain last month. This was despite the fact that Red Bull had a faster car.

“It is clear Red Bull have started off really well and with a great package and Max was driving really well, so it is set up for a good season ahead,” he said.

Mercedes has spent the last three weeks working on improving the performance of their car. However, they feel that Red Bull has an advantage in high-speed corners which makes them even harder to beat.

“We just need to keep our heads down and do what we do. We love the challenge and it is exciting for all of us that we have such a challenge on our hands and it is not one we shy away from.

“We are only going into the second race. I can’t assume and I can’t guess what’s up ahead of us – I don’t know.

“I hope it’s exciting for the fans and that it’s all it’s cracked up to be, particularly in a time when we need the best entertainment for the fans.”

What do you think Imola has in store for us? Let us know in the comments below!

Read More: Road to glory: Does Hamilton have his sights set on elusive record currently held by Vettel?

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