Max Verstappen edges out Lewis Hamilton in match-up

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who jointly have nine F1 titles. have never raced together in the same team.

Ex-F1 team owner Eddie Jordan and former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard have jointly lent their support to the notion that Max Verstappen would outshine Lewis Hamilton if the two esteemed World Champions were to share a racing car today. 

Both former team principal and driver concurred that Verstappen currently occupies a career “sweet spot,” endowing him with a significant advantage.

Following their momentous clash during the controversial 2021 title race, Verstappen’s remarkable journey continued with an impressive record of 15 race victories en route to securing his second championship crown in the previous season. 

The ongoing 2023 season has further solidified Verstappen’s prowess, with a staggering 10 wins out of 12 races thus far.

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While Lewis Hamilton’s presence on the podium remains steady, he grappled with an unprecedented winless season in Formula 1 last year, largely attributed to Mercedes’ struggle for speed. 

Regrettably, his team still contends with the challenge of bridging the gap to the dominant Red Bull driver in the current season.

The potential match-up of Verstappen and Hamilton as teammates has long tantalised the minds of Formula 1 fans, driven by the metaphorical sparks that can fly when two elite drivers share a team.

Although the conception of a “super-team” partnership between Verstappen and Hamilton might be improbable, it sparks conversations about their hypothetical performance. 

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When questioned on the “Formula For Success” podcast regarding the outcome of a head-to-head competition between the two in identical cars, Jordan weighed in on the matter. 

He initially noted the significance of age and experience parity, suggesting that Verstappen’s current attributes play a pivotal role in the assessment.

Challenged by Coulthard about Hamilton’s capacity to engage in a direct rivalry with Verstappen due to age, Jordan contended that Verstappen would likely outshine his seasoned counterpart. 

According to Jordan, while Hamilton could still clinch Grand Prix victories, Verstappen’s harmonious blend of age, experience, confidence, knowledge, and team synergy situates him favourably.

Coulthard echoed Jordan’s sentiments, expressing his belief in Hamilton’s ongoing competence. Yet, he aligns with the former F1 team boss in recognising Verstappen’s career sweet spot as a defining factor. 

Coulthard noted the accumulation of “baggage” that accompanies age and experience, potentially impinging on Hamilton’s performance.

Coulthard stated, “I still reckon Lewis has got it, and I think that they are both exceptional. They’re not great racing drivers, they’re exceptional.”

The prospect of these exceptional talents joining forces in a team, a scenario Coulthard acknowledged as improbable, could potentially mirror legendary rivalries like Prost-Senna. 

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Coulthard accentuated Verstappen’s enviable position at 25 years of age, underscoring the impressive feats he has achieved in his Formula 1 journey.

Coulthard elaborated on the impact of life’s experiences, stating, “When you’re younger, you don’t know what you don’t know, so you don’t worry about what you don’t know. 

“As you get older, then you gain experience and you can make better decisions, but all of that very nice baggage that Lewis has to carry just starts to fill up your mind.”