Max Verstappen hints at Lewis Hamilton's 'luck' in F1 with defiant message to rival

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claims Lewis Hamilton’s experience “won’t make a big difference” in their title fight, hinting he believes the seven-time world champion has had an element of “luck” along the way in a fast Mercedes.

Locked in a tight battle for the entire season, Verstappen now holds an eight-point lead heading into the penultimate race of the year in Saudi Arabia, with the Dutchman remaining the only driver on the grid who could win the title on Sunday, if Hamilton has a disastrous weekend in Jeddah.

Speaking during Thursday’s FIA press conference, a laid back Hamilton claimed he is “more relaxed” than he’s ever been at this point in the season given his experience in the championship.

But, despite understanding where Hamilton was coming from, Verstappen dismissed any suggestion his lack of championship fights will have any say on the title winner.

He explained: “Well, I think it’s natural, of course, that when you are in this stage of your career, you’re better prepared than what you were in your first or second, when Lewis was fighting for his first title. I think that’s just a natural progression and it’s very normal.

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Locked in a tight battle for the entire season, Verstappen now holds an eight-point lead heading into the penultimate race of the year in Saudi Arabia, with the Dutchman remaining the only driver on the grid who could win the title on Sunday, if Hamilton has a disastrous weekend in Jeddah.

Speaking during Thursday’s FIA press conference, a laid back Hamilton claimed he is “more relaxed” than he’s ever been at this point in the season given his experience in the championship.

But, despite understanding where Hamilton was coming from, Verstappen dismissed any suggestion his lack of championship fights will have any say on the title winner.

He explained: “Well, I think it’s natural, of course, that when you are in this stage of your career, you’re better prepared than what you were in your first or second, when Lewis was fighting for his first title. I think that’s just a natural progression and it’s very normal.

“I mean, I also feel much better prepared and more experienced than when I just came into Formula 1. So no, I don’t think that it makes a big difference, otherwise it would have shown already throughout the season.

“As a driver, you always keep learning, even when you’re 30, 35, 40. You learn through experience. Naturally, you become quicker, but you maybe know or understand how to deal with certain situations, or prepare yourself better – these things are pretty normal.”

Hamilton is looking for an eighth world title to add to his collection, putting him on the brink of history if he can beat Verstappen over the final two races.

When asked if he felt that battling with a driver of Hamilton’s calibre has made him a more accomplished driver, Verstappen responded: “I don’t think that necessarily I’m a stronger driver now.”

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