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Max Verstappen’s father has called on Mercedes to pair his son with Lewis Hamilton so fans can ‘really compare who is the best’. The dominance of Mercedes in recent times has been clear to see. They finished the F1 2020 Constructors’ Championship 254 points ahead of their nearest rivals Red Bull and it was the seventh season in succession where they have claimed the crown.
Hamilton has played a huge part in that success, winning the Drivers’ Championship in six of those seven years, with his former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg claiming the 2016 crown.
Hamilton is currently partnered at the Silver Arrows by Valtteri Bottas, who finished nine points above Verstappen to claim second in the 2020 standings.
Considering the dominance of the Mercedes car, Verstappen’s performances in winning two races and consistently claiming a place on the podium in 2020 led to some questioning whether he was the ‘best’ driver in F1 at present, despite Hamilton’s winning margin of 124 points being the largest in the hybrid era and him doing so without competing in the Sakhir Grand Prix due to having Covid.
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It is a debate which is unlikely to be settled while the two men drive different cars, even if Red Bull are tipped to improve this season following the acquisition of Sergio Perez from Racing Point and the plan to make major aerodynamic changes to their car, the RB16-B.
Verstappen’s father Jos enjoyed a long Formula 1 career himself, competing in 107 races between 1994 and 2003.
When asked if he believes his son would be equal to Hamilton performance wise if they were driving the same car, Jos Verstappen told Dutch magazine FORMULE 1: “If you ask me that, I am sure it will. Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t mind if Max would ride next to Hamilton. Then it is clear, isn’t it.
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“The best thing would be if they were driving the same car. Then you can really compare who is the best. I would only applaud it, I think it would be a very nice season then. I think the whole world is waiting for that. ”
On Hamilton, he added: “It’s the same as what I say about Max: he’s incredibly strong. Even if you look at how he fares against his team-mate. At Mercedes it really worked out for Hamilton, at McLaren he had a few years in which it didn’t work. You don’t become a world champion if you don’t have a champion team and champion car. ”
Red Bull finished the Constructors’ Championship 254 points behind Mercedes and 117 points ahead of third-place McLaren.
And Jos Verstappen is in no doubt his son is ready to compete for the Drivers’ Championship once he has a car capable of doing so.
He said: “He was [ready] three years ago. You know, Max always drives at 110 percent. As a result, we don’t really know how good or bad the car is; maybe our car was worse than Ferrari’s… It’s just possible, no one knows.
“The only thing you can do is compare Max to his team-mate. And [Alexander] Albon really wasn’t that bad in karting and the lower classes, he did well there. This year he had quite a problem compared to Max.”
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