A former F1 racer has said he believes Max Verstappen would be faster than Sir Lewis Hamilton if they were Mercedes team-mates, but the seven-time World Champion would nevertheless have a chance of beating the Dutch ace over the course of a season.
Speaking to Formula1News.co.uk on Friday, ex-F1 driver Marc Surer said: “I think Verstappen is one of the fastest young drivers in Formula One, together with [Charles] Leclerc.
“So I think he will be faster than Hamilton, because Hamilton used to be… but after the age of 30 you start to lose a few hundredths of your speed. You will not notice it but this is the truth.
“But that doesn’t mean Verstappen would beat Lewis Hamilton easily, because if you look at the past, for example if you look at Prost-Lauda [when they were team-mates at McLaren]… Prost was clearly faster than Lauda, but Lauda in one year won the Championship by being clever and having a better strategy.
“So, with experience you can sometimes beat a younger, faster driver. The same also happened with Senna and Prost.
“So it’s not clear if Hamilton or Verstappen would win the Championship [as Mercedes team-mates.]”
As for reports that Hamilton is looking to have a clause in his new Mercedes deal which would allow him to “influence” who he has as his team-mate, Surer said he believes this would be a smart move as it would allow the Brit to avoid a “problem he doesn’t need to have.”
“I think [Michael] Schumacher did that. All clever drivers should learn from that past,” he added.
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