Verstappen on Hamilton: “winning streak down to car, not Lewis” plus…

…the Dutchman admits, “one of the best drivers ever” – For the third time in a row, Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes secured the world championship title in the 2019 Formula 1 season.

This time ten victories and six further podium places were enough for the British driver to win the championship at the Grand Prix of the USA ahead of expectations, certainly at the beginning of the season. Overall, he missed the podium only three times in 19 races.

Of course, the competition isn’t very enthusiastic about it: “It’s going to be a bit boring to see Lewis win,” says Max Verstappen, for example, “so we have to try to change that. This year, the Red Bull pilot has only managed this twice so far: Verstappen celebrated one victory each in Austria and Germany.

But the Dutchman hopes that he and his up-and-coming Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc will be able to intervene in the title fight next year. “I think it’s good for the sport that the young guys are coming now and hopefully taking the lead very soon,” Verstappen is quoted by the news agency “Reuters”.

So the Red Bull talent is striving for a generation change. After all, Hamilton turns 35 in January, while Verstappen and Leclerc are much younger at 22. “He’s getting older, so it’ll certainly stop sometime,” speculates the Dutchman about a possible end to Hamilton’s winning streak in Formula 1.

But Verstappen admits: “It will only depend on the team, to be honest. It won’t depend on Lewis. If Mercedes continues to build really dominant cars, he will certainly win. So as a team we just have to make sure we can beat them.” Currently Red Bull is third behind Mercedes and Ferrari.

With the switch to Honda engines, however, the team’s hopeful is well prepared for the future. “I think we’re on the right track. If you look at the engine performance compared to Mercedes and Renault, we are very close to Mercedes now, which is very promising for next year,” he explains.

Asked about his recent comments about Ferrari, Verstappen is tight-lipped before the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend: “It’s a sensitive issue, so I’m trying to hold back on that. I prefer to just keep going, leave everything behind and concentrate on Brazil.”

The Red Bull driver had explained Ferrari’s top speed loss at Austin with accusations of fraud and thus attracted the Scuderia’s anger. Occasionally there was also a lot of pressure between Verstappen and Hamilton – after various quips on and off the track. But in the meantime the two managed to settle their dispute.

“We had a chat on the grid in Austin. I respect Lewis, of course, but we’re also tough racers and sometimes it can be a little more difficult. But we talked and everything is fine,” says the Dutchman. Hamilton is “definitely one of the best drivers ever” and he has no problem with him.

After the engine problems with Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari in Austin at the US Grand Prix F1 event, the team decided to use a new engine on the penultimate race weekend of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Ferrari confirmed this on Tuesday. Leclerc will therefore receive a grid penalty at the Brazilian Grand Prix, it is expected to be a significant drop in grid position. 

TJ13 published an article today (copy is below) on this move, and how it is in actual fact a test session for the 2020 engine…… READ MORE