MAX VERSTAPPEN is better than Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes champ would struggle if they had to swap cars, claims Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
Brit chief Horner – married to former Spice Girl Geri – reckons fellow Englishman George Russell’s outing in Hamilton’s car last season proved Verstappen, 24, is superior.
Christian Horner (left) thinks Max Verstappen is a better driver than Lewis HamiltonCredit: Reuters
Hamilton has a deal with Mercedes until the end 2023Credit: Getty – Pool
Seven-time world champion Hamilton, 37, was KO’d by coronavirus for the Sakhir Grand Prix and Williams driver Russell deputised.
Russell qualified in second place just 0.026s behind the other Mercedes driven by Valtteri Bottas and was leading the race by ten seconds before problems in the pit and with his tyres cost him a maiden win.
Horner, 48, told RacingNews365 last year: “I think Verstappen is the best, and George Russell’s performance at Mercedes confirmed that for me.
“Max and Lewis stand out for me but, while we should definitely not be blind to what Hamilton has achieved, he does have a good package at his disposal.
“While Max has to get more out of his car.
“At Mercedes, a Williams driver can qualify himself directly on the front row and Russell almost won the race.
“However, if at Red Bull someone has to get into Verstappen’s car, for example if Max had corona, then nobody will reach his level.”
Red Bulls’s Verstappen is hoping to challenge Brit Hamilton’s F1 supremacyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
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Hamilton was knighted by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list and also picked up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year gong for 2020.
The Stevenage-born icon eclipsed Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins to fuel the GOAT debate.
Verstappen finished third behind the two Mercedes in 2020, but last year he achieved his dream of becoming F1 champ.
After a slow start to the campaign, Verstappen has got his World Championship challenge back underway by winning Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the end of April.