Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has backed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to become a future F1 World Champion. Verstappen finished sixth in the 2017 F1 Driver’s Championship, and at just 20-years of age, has already proven himself a capable competitor, with three race wins and 11 podium finishes.
Its amazing to think that 2018 will mark Max Verstappen’s fourth year as a Formula 1 driver. The youngster has become a force to be reckoned with over the last three seasons, forming a strong partnership with Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, and entertaining fans with his fearless high-risk approach to racing. Whilst Ricciardo has stolen much of the limelight, Verstappen has become a huge favourite amongst F1 fans, who are looking forward to the Dutchman shaking off his underdog status, and making a genuine bid for the driver’s championship.
Due to his impressive performances in 2017, it’s become less of a question of ‘if’ Verstappen will compete for the F1 title, and more a question of ‘when’.
Current champion Lewis Hamilton is a keen admirer of the Red Bull youngster, and expects Verstappen to be in contention for the title in the upcoming season.
“He has definitely got the potential to be a world champion. We’ve all seen that,” said Hamilton. “That’s why he’s got a great following.
“We’ve seen the way he drives and he’s got great potential as a driver. He’s in a great team and he’s in the perfect place to continue growing. He’s got a long time ahead of him. He’s already had a good few seasons under his belt – I still hadn’t even had my first season under my belt at 21, so he’s already further ahead than me and a lot of the drivers.
“But whilst I’m here I’m going to be doing everything I can to stop him from winning. I’m sure people won’t particularly love that, but that’s what we’re here to do.
“We’re here to battle and I’m looking forward to having some really positive battles with him – hopefully this year.”