Cape Town - Chasing a sixth World title this season, Max Verstappen reckons part of Lewis Hamilton’s success has been down to him not having had to face the “strongest” of team-mates.
Although Hamilton has taken on World Champions in Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg, it is his more recent years at Mercedes with Rosberg and now Valtteri Bottas that set the tone for his team-mates.
Hamilton had the better of Rosberg, winning two titles to the German’s one, while his record against Bottas is two – soon likely to be three – to nothing.
Claims that Hamilton hasn’t been challenged by his team-mates have been exacerbated during his seasons with Bottas given Mercedes’ tendency to put the Finn into a wingman role.
As such Verstappen reckons the Brit has yet to truly face a stiff challenge from a team-mate.
“Over the years, Lewis hasn’t had the strongest team-mates,” the Red Bull driver told The Telegraph.
“If you have the right car you can beat everyone.
“Lewis is an amazing driver, and one of the best to have raced in Formula One.
“But he has also had the best car, and when you have the dominant car, the only one you are really fighting is your team-mate.”
While both Verstappen and Hamilton are contracted to their current teams, Red Bull and Mercedes, for 2020 many F1 fans would love to see the duo team up together, taking on one another in equal machinery.
Verstappen said: “If it happens, it happens, but it is not something I am dreaming of.”