Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa believes reigning world champion Max Verstappen is currently more likely to reach an unprecedented eight world titles than Lewis Hamilton, who is currently matched on seven world titles with Michael Schumacher.
Massa raced alongside Schumacher at Ferrari in 2006, before the German retired for the first time from F1, before returning in 2010.
Hamilton, of course, matched Schumacher’s seven world titles in 2020 and was on the brink of claiming an unprecedented eighth world title in 2021, only to be outdone by a ‘human error’ from race director at the time Michael Masi.
Since then, things haven’t gone well for Hamilton at Mercedes, with the Brackley-based team having fallen behind Red Bull since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations.
As a result, Massa doesn’t see Hamilton winning an eight title “anytime soon”, with Mercedes currently being “too bad” or the 38-year-old to win another title.
“And he won’t be anytime soon. Sure, Lewis Hamilton also has seven world titles, but I don’t think he can win an eighth – at least not with this car this season,” Massa told Bild.
“The Mercedes is too bad for Lewis to have a realistic chance of playing a major role in the title race. He can drive as well as he wants, his car is too slow.”
With Massa believing that Hamilton won’t claim another title, the Brazilian believes that F1 is currently in a Verstappen era, with the Dutchman having claimed consecutive world titles.
The 25-year-old was unstoppable last season and is the favourite to claim a third title this season, with Massa believing he could claim “five or six titles in a row”.
“I think that’s happening right now. Max Verstappen has become world champion for the past two years. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t get the hat-trick,” admitted Massa.
“Much more. Max can also win four, five or six titles in a row.”
With that in mind, the former Ferrari driver thinks Verstappen is currently more likely to reach eight world titles than Hamilton, with the Brazilian noting that the Red Bull driver is “extremely mature for his age”.
“Currently yes. Max doesn’t make mistakes, he drives like a robot,” Massa noted.
“He is extremely mature for his age. The two titles made him even better. He’s more relaxed now, not so dogged.
“He still uses the crowbar from time to time, but he uses it more purposefully. Next year, however, the title race could look very different again if Mercedes finds its old strength. That’s the attraction of Formula 1. And from 2026 the cards will be reshuffled anyway.”