Max Verstappen has established himself as the best driver on the Formula 1 grid in 2022, while Sir Lewis Hamilton’s reputation has unquestionably taken a hit.
The 24-year-old has reached a new level this year, and the Dutchman is all but certain to defend his title.
Verstappen heads into the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix with a 93-point advantage over team-mate Sergio Perez, while third-placed Charles Leclerc trails him by 98 points.
Hamilton, meanwhile, sits sixth in the Drivers’ Standings on 146 points, with his points haul being almost half that of the Red Bull driver’s.
Needless to say, Red Bull’s RB18 has been far superior to Mercedes’ 2022 car, but the first 14 races of this season have nevertheless somewhat tarnished Hamilton’s legacy, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the seven-time world champion has, on the whole, been outperformed by Mercedes team-mate George Russell.
Heading to Zandvoort, Hamilton is 24 points – almost a race victory – behind his younger team-mate in the championship.
Furthermore, this year has seen Hamilton make a number of uncharacteristic mistakes, such as his qualifying shunt in Austria and his first-lap crash with Fernando Alonso at Spa.
This appears to be due to him, for the first time in many years, not having the fastest car on the grid and also having a team-mate that is pushing him to the limit.
Verstappen, on the other hand, has excelled this year and looks even more dominant than Hamilton did when he had the best car on the grid.
The 2022 Belgian Grand Prix is a great example of just how impressive the Dutch racer is.
He started down in P14 due to an engine penalty, but he won the race by around 18 seconds over second-placed Sergio Perez, who had started in P2.
Although Verstappen has said he believes Ferrari will be back on the pace at this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver has every chance of winning even if the Scuderia have a slightly better car, given his recent form and the Italian team’s tendency to make mistakes.
Based on how the last 14 races have unfolded, I think it’s now impossible to argue that Verstappen isn’t a better Formula 1 driver than Hamilton.