Lewis Hamilton welcomes the prospect of a Formula One title battle with Max Verstappen following the Dutchman’s dramatic victory in Sunday’s torrid 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone. Defending champion and present chief Hamilton, who has a 30-point benefit on the prime of the drivers’ standings, praised Verstappen and his Red Bull workforce for inflicting a primary defeat on Mercedes in 5 races this 12 months.
“It’s great that Max won,” mentioned Hamilton, Speaking within the aftermath of his record-equalling 155th podium end, in second place.
“As I’ve said before I want to have races and a challenge. Obviously, the Red Bull seems to be quite close to us in race conditions, but that’s a good thing and it will be interesting to see their progression through the rest of the year.
“I positively won’t overlook them. We will maintain an in depth eye on them. It’s not going to be straightforward by any means.”
Hamilton, who shares the podiums record with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, is in pursuit of his own seventh drivers’ title this year and also has the German’s unrivalled haul of 91 GP wins in his sights.
‘Difficult day’ for Mercedes
However in sweltering conditions on Sunday, Red Bull had not only a superior strategy — by choosing to start Verstappen on hard-compound tyres — but also a superior level of management of tyre wear, which appears to have become a weakness of Mercedes’ otherwise flawless car this year.
Hamilton had only won the British GP at the same track a week earlier after surviving a last-lap puncture as Verstappen closed in.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff conceded his team had failed to deliver after starting with Valtteri Bottas on pole and Hamilton second in their 67th front row lockout.
Verstappen started fourth and won by 11 seconds, a luxury that afforded him several light-hearted quips on his way to victory and a poor sign for Mercedes heading into the weekend’s Spanish GP in Barcelona.
“It was a tough day within the workplace,” admitted Wolff. “We have a handful of days to search out out what precisely brought about our points at the moment, provide you with options, take a look at them in Barcelona after which hopefully have a greater race on Sunday.
“It will be challenging, but we’ve had these days in the past and came out stronger and I am really looking forward to Barcelona. The days where we lose are the days where we learn the most.”
The considerably haunted appears to be like on the Mercedes pit wall as their Pirelli tyres blistered over and once more informed its personal story and Red Bull workforce chief Christian Horner, prompt their automobile, with its phenomenal ranges of downforce, was virtually too sturdy and too quick for the softer tyres launched.
“Mercedes are running more downforce on their car, a lot more wing than we are carrying and they blistered their tyres five laps after the first pit stop — and Max was taking it easy at that point,” Horner mentioned.
Until Sunday, Hamilton and Mercedes seemed to be on track for a serene run in direction of extra championship triumphs, however Verstappen’s ninth profession win, per week earlier than he returns to the scene of his first, has signalled that nothing might be taken as a right.
Topics talked about on this article