Ex-F1 driver snubs Lewis Hamilton for Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen is set to claim a third consecutive World Championship following his dominant showing this season.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella has admitted that he’d rather have Max Verstappen in his team than Lewis Hamilton, due to the reigning World Champion having “something extra”.

Fisichella retired from F1 at the end of 2009 after completing the second half of the season for Ferrari, after switching mid-season from Force India to replace the injured Felipe Massa.

The Italian is perhaps best known in F1 for having partnered Fernando Alonso at Renault in 2005 and 2006, the two seasons the Spanish driver claimed championship glory.

Despite having retired in 2009, the three-time race winner is still the last Italian driver to have won in F1, courtesy of his victory at the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix.

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Fisichella made 214 starts across a 14-year career, dating from 1996-2009.

As a result, he’s raced against some exceptional drivers, including the likes of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen, Alonso and Hamilton.

Despite having raced against Hamilton in the early stages of the Mercedes driver’s F1 career, Fisichella would still choose Verstappen over him.

“Verstappen. Max has something extra and gives the impression of driving with one hand,” Fisichella told Italy’s Corriere Della Sera.

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Whilst Hamilton has enjoyed dominant spells in the past, Verstappen’s current superiority is virtually unmatched.

The Dutchman is currently on an eight-race winning streak and has claimed 10 victories overall in 2023, with him looking increasingly likely of breaking his record set last season of 15 wins in a season.

His domination of the sport has seen him build a 125-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, meaning it won’t be long until he’s crowned a three-time World Champion.

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This will see him join the likes of Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and even Sir Jackie Stewart, further etching his name into the record books.

Most expect Verstappen to return from the summer break and continue his winning streak, especially as the next race on the calendar is the Dutch Grand Prix.

Verstappen has claimed victory at his home race the last two seasons, making him the clear favourite at Zandvoort in a couple of weeks.