Hamil­ton sees Max as threat

The Mercury - - SPORT -

MEX­ICO CITY: Lewis Hamil­ton sees Max Ver­stap­pen as added mo­ti­va­tion for next sea­son af­ter recog­nis­ing Red Bull’s 20-year-old Dutch driver as one of the big threats to his bid for a fifth world cham­pi­onship.

The Mercedes driver, now Bri­tain’s first four-time cham­pion, is a big fan of the Dutch prodigy and said he looked for­ward to great bat­tles with a resur­gent Red Bull as well as Fer­rari.

Ver­stap­pen, the sport’s youngest-ever win­ner, cel­e­brated his third ca­reer vic­tory and sec­ond of the sea­son at Mex­ico City’s Au­to­dromo Her­manos Ro­driguez on Sun­day.

“I want to be bet­ter next year; the chal­lenge is even big­ger from Red Bull and Fer­rari,” Hamil­ton, still buzzing with ex­cite­ment, told re­porters af­ter fin­ish­ing ninth to claim the ti­tle.

“For­mula One doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t stand still. And there’s al­ways some­one wait­ing to take my po­si­tion.

“I’ve got that Max just sit­ting there wait­ing to take it. So I’ve got to raise the game another level in or­der to stay ahead of him. And that mo­ti­vates me. I al­ready have my mo­ti­va­tion for next year.”

Hamil­ton hailed Ver­stap­pen as “an ex­cep­tional driver” and en­thused about his race craft at the start on Sun­day.

“You’ve got for sure a po­ten­tial world cham­pion within Max and he’s only go­ing to get stronger with age,” he said.

“He’s a lot of raw tal­ent at the mo­ment and has got a long way to go but th­ese wins, th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences he’s hav­ing are only adding to his great po­ten­tial. I’m look­ing for­ward to bat­tling with that.” – Reuters

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