"Maybe he's a little bit jealous," says Verstappen


Max Verstappen has hit back at Lewis Hamilton's claim that the Dutchman has never had to face pressure from his teammates.

Asked by Sky Italia if he was impressed with Verstappen's domination, the Briton suggested that the Dutchman had never faced pressure from his teammates.

"We've seen it through history," he said. "I'm no more impressed than when Michael was leading, when Sebastian was leading, when Kimi was driving, when Fernando was winning... same.

"When I qualified half a second, six-tenths ahead of Valtteri, they didn't say the same thing as they say today when Max qualifies six tenths ahead of Perez, it's blown up much more," he added.

"In my personal opinion, Valtteri, and actually all my team-mates, have been stronger than the team-mates that Max has had.

"Jenson, Fernando, George and Valtteri," he recalled, needing to be prompted into remembering... "Nico (Rosberg), I've had so many.

"These guys have all been very consistent, and Max has not raced against anyone like that."

"Maybe he's a little bit jealous of our current success," responded Verstappen when told of Hamilton's comment.

"I don't know why he says that," he added. "Maybe he thinks there is something to win or defend with comments like that, but for me it doesn't matter at all.

"I think it's very difficult for Mercedes to deal with losing," he continued. "That's the problem you have when you've won for so many years of course.

"But, at the end of the day, you have to be realistic as well. If it's not possible to win, then it's not possible. You have to be able to appreciate what other teams are doing as well.

"We did that in the years when Mercedes dominated. Back then we just said to ourselves 'we have to work harder', because at that time we were simply not good enough compared to them.

"You can keep saying that the things we are achieving at the moment are not that special, or at least that is probably what they think, but in the end, you just have to focus on yourself because that is the only thing you can influence."

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Published: 03/09/2023
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