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Hamilton Verstappen

Verstappen: For sure I can beat Lewis with an equal car

Hamilton Verstappen

Red Bull teenager Max Verstappen, has no doubt he can beat Mercedes’ triple World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Asked by BBC is in an equal car he would beat Hamilton, Verstappen replied, “Probably I will sound really arrogant, but for sure!”

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Although Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix last Sunday, it was Verstappen who stole the show with his gutsy drive from 16th to third place.

The youngster displayed unique skills in challenging conditions, as he did in Brazil last year, to scythe past rivals with apparent ease using lines that others do not think of using.

Asked how he does it, Verstappen admitted, “It’s always a bit difficult to answer to be honest. Just feeling, instinct, knowing where you have to go. You just feel your way into it.”

No doubt much of his prowess and audacious talent was hined through karting with his father Jos Verstappen as his coach.

Verstappen junior explained, “My dad always told me you have to be as quick as you can straight away out of the box. Some people say: Feel your way into it, build it up. No, my dad would say: Straight away you have to be there. And I think that helps to warm up your tyres and brakes to be on it a bit more from lap one.”

He is also pretty impressive on the brakes, “It is just something natural, I guess, to feel your way and control it. I have been practising a lot in the wet and trying not to lock up and stuff but I think it is also a bit natural, when you feel it is starting to lock.”

But the 19 year old does not want to appear big headed and thus does not consider himself extraordinary, “I don’t think about things like that. You also very quickly get an arrogant thing about you when say things like that and I don’t want to.”

“Of course I am doing a good job, but you can always improve and I just leave it up to people outside, around me or whatever, to judge on that. I just want to do the best I can every time.”

Criticism of his driving, namely his defensive tactics, does not affect him, “Everyone can have their own opinion, but it is very clear they wanted the racing back. Overtaking is one thing. That is an art. But defending as well. You should be able to defend your position. That’s what I was doing. I am happy that there is a bit more freedom to it.”

Indeed F1 race director Charlie Whiting had words with Verstappen last year regarding his defensive techniques, “They basically said they had never seen it before. It was all a bit new to them. But I never got a penalty for it.”

“So I never really thought I was doing anything wrong. It was definitely on the limit and hard but that’s how racing should be, I think,” added Verstappen.