A comment Lewis Hamilton made ahead of the Italian Grand Prix backfired in the Mercedes driver’s face, after he shared his opinion that all of Max Verstappen’s Formula 1 team-mates have been weaker than his.
Hamilton insisted that Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas are all stronger than anyone who has partnered the reigning World Champion at Red Bull, something he might’ve doubted saying after qualifying on Saturday.
The seven-time World Champion could only manage P8 on Saturday, behind Verstappen’s current team-mate, Sergio Perez.
Several fans took to social media to slam the 104-time pole sitter for his comments, especially after qualifying behind the Mexican.
Hamilton even started the race behind Williams’ Alex Albon and rookie Oscar Piastri, although he finished ahead of both in the race.
The 38-year-old recovered to eighth on Sunday following an alternate strategy, which saw him start on the Hard compound before switching to the Mediums.
As all but one other driver was doing the opposite, this allowed the British driver to work his way through the field in the second half of the race.
His comments about Verstappen’s team-mates are arguably what Hamilton will be remembered for most from the Italian GP, with him believing that nobody has tested the Dutchman in the same team.
Hamilton actually made the comment when asked for his view on Verstappen’s current domination, which continued on Sunday as the Red Bull driver claimed his record-breaking 10th consecutive win.
“I’m no more impressed than when Michael [Schumacher] was leading, when Sebastian was leading when Kimi [Raikkonen] was driving, when Fernando [Alonso] was winning – it’s just the same,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
“I think the [Red Bull] team as a whole is one of the strongest, they’re firing on all cylinders right now.
“The car is incredible, the drivers are doing an amazing job, very consistent, the pit crew is doing a great job, the mechanics are doing a good job, strategy is doing a good job – on point, you can’t fault them.
“In my personal opinion, all my team-mates have been stronger than the team-mates Max has had: Jenson [Button], Fernando, George [Russell], Valtteri [Bottas], Nico [Rosberg]. I’ve had so many.
“These guys have all been very, very strong, very consistent – and Max has not raced against anyone like that.”