Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has said that he believes it was easier for Nico Rosberg to beat Sir Lewis Hamilton than it is for him this campaign, as they were team-mates and therefore had equal machinery at their disposal.
The Dutch ace currently trails Hamilton by eight points in the Drivers’ Standings, after scoring just two points from the last two grand prix due to Mercedes-induced collisions.
Asked by Bild, a German tabloid, if there is anything he can learn from Rosberg’s triumph over Hamilton in the 2016 Championship, Verstappen replied:
“Not really. They were in the same car, so it’s easier to beat your team-mate.
“We have different cars, so it’s something different.
“I think you can only judge the real driver performance for yourself if you are sitting next to someone in the same car [being team-mates].”
In the same interview, Verstappen was asked if he believes his rivalry with the Brit could one day be ranked up there with the great rivalries of Formula 1.
The Dutch driver said that he isn’t overly concerned with how their rivalry will be looked upon in the future.
“For me, Senna vs Prost sounds best,” he said.
“But seriously, I don’t think about it too much. I don’t really see this rivalry with Lewis Hamilton that way either.
“I just focus on myself and on the team. That’s when we have the best chance.”
Commenting on Red Bull’s ability to take the fight to Mercedes this year, Verstappen said it was “nice” for them to be troubling the Silver Arrows and making the Championship battle more interesting.
“They have been very dominant in recent years. It’s nice that this year we have the opportunity to race at a higher level.
“That makes it not as boring in the championship as it has been in the last few years,” he concluded.