Verstappen: Hamilton's experience not an 'advantage' in title fight


Max Verstappen believes Lewis Hamilton's vast experience in fighting for the world title does not constitute an advantage for the Mercedes driver in his battle against the Dutchman.

Ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix where F1's two contenders will resume their battle at the top of pyramid, Verstappen trails Hamilton by 8 points.

The Red Bull driver had the upper hand over his arch-rival in the early summer, but the pair's clash at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and Verstappen's first lap contact in Hungary allowed Hamilton to overhaul his opponent.

The seven-time Grand Prix winner therefore finds himself in the familiar position of championship leader, but Verstappen explained why his rival's experience isn't an edge for the Briton.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc ferme with Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. 26.06.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Steiermark Grand Prix, Spielberg

"Personally, I don't think so," Verstappen said. "The only advantage you can really have is just if you have a faster car. In this sport, it's so dominant when you have a really good car.

"There's so many good drivers in this sport but they don't have the opportunity to fight at the front.

"So if you have seven titles or one or zero, I think at the end of the day, when you have spent a few years in F1, and especially more towards the front, like top five, you know that you have to try and finish every race.

"You know that you have to try and score the most available points every single weekend and I think all of us we always try and do our best and race in the best possible way.

"So, I don't really see the advantage there."

Red Bull was considered to have a better car than Mercedes at the outset of the 2021 season, but at Silverstone, updates implemented on the Brackley outfit's W11 allowed the latter to bridge the gap with Red Bull's car.

But Verstappen is confident that more potential remains to be unlocked from his RB16B.

"We had a lot of good races, just the last two didn't go our way [for reasons] out of our control," Verstappen said.

"Yeah, I'm very positive. The team is looking forward to getting started again and of course there's still a lot of races to be held. Let's see how it goes."

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