Formula 1 drivers have more often than not emphasized the importance of winning the teammate battles, which certainly plays a crucial role in winning the lead driver role within the team alongside relishing an authoritative saying in the team’s development. Likewise, Lewis Hamilton has embraced the lead driver role over his massive tenures at McLaren and Mercedes.
Furthermore, one would acknowledge the fact that Hamilton’s path to glory was anything but straightforward. The seven-time world champion, in his very first years, challenged a defending two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was oozing with confidence, coming fresh from defeating Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.
Yet, the rookie British driver managed to halt Alonso’s glorious F1 spell with a breathtaking outing in 2007. Hamilton portrayed a no-nonsense attitude throughout his debut season and hardly hesitated to get his elbows out against any driver that seemed threatening to him.
⚠️ | Lewis Hamilton is preparing to battle with Max Verstappen:
“I’m trying to prepare myself for when the car is ready to challenge and beat Max.”
“If they make any [mistakes], I’ll be there.” pic.twitter.com/lMgwzwlfSy
— formularacers (@formularacers_) August 25, 2023
Similarly, Hamilton also had rather powerful title-winning teammates Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg over his prolonged racing career. And lately, the 38-year-old is having to tame the feisty Formula 2 world champion, George Russell. Having fought his way through a series of extremely talented and aggressive teammates, would it be fair enough to compare the Briton’s Mercedes reign with Max Verstappen’s active reign with Red Bull?
Lewis Hamilton calls out unwanted Max Verstappen glorification
Hamilton opined that it would be extremely unfair to compare his dominant spell at Mercedes with Verstappen’s actively dominant spell at Red Bull. The seven-time world champion further explained the reason behind his unexpected reckoning.
As reported by Sky Sports, the Mercedes driver pointed out the fact that Verstappen never really had an equally strong teammate lined up alongside him at Red Bull. Instead, the list features Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, and lately, Sergio Perez.
“In my personal opinion, Valtteri, and actually all my team-mates, have been stronger than the team-mates that Max has had. Jenson [Button], Fernando [Alonso], George [Russell], Valtteri… Nico [Rosberg] – I’ve had so many. These guys have all been very consistent, and Max has not raced against anyone like that,” the six-time Mercedes world champion said.
While Albon and Gasly are definitely solid drivers, neither of them was experienced enough to handle the complicated Red Bull machine. Hence, both the drivers eventually succumbed to the pressure of Verstappen. And of course, then arrived Perez, who looked quite comfortable earlier this year, but, allegedly ended up falling prey to Red Bull’s biased development.