Max Verstappen shows true colours with verdict on another Lewis Hamilton duel

F1 season preview as Max Verstappen looks to defend world title

Max Verstappen has shown he is a true racer by not backing away from another title battle with Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull star claimed another duel with the seven-time champion would be “amazing” for F1.

He even went as far as saying that he “hoped” the field would merge later in the season despite Red Bull’s early dominance. He explained: “It would be great for the sport.

“If there are more teams fighting upfront, and that is what they want to achieve, then honestly that would be amazing. Hopefully, throughout the year it will get closer, and maybe next year there will be more teams up there.”

Verstappen just pipped Hamilton to the 2021 crown in a tense final race battle at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He then cruised to his second Drivers’ Championship last season with a record-breaking 15 race wins.

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Red Bull have continued their control, winning all seven races so far this season. Verstappen has taken five wins while team-mate Sergio Perez has two, allowing the 25-year-old to build a comfortable advantage in the standings.

Meanwhile, Hamilton has not taken victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Mercedes’ troubles continue. The Silver Arrows has only picked up one win since the new regulations came into effect in 2022 with George Russell standing on the top step of the podium in Sao Paulo.

But, Hamilton is ready to go toe-to-toe with his former title rival, stressing that they would continue working hard back at the factory to move closer to the frontrunners. He remarked: “I feel incredibly grateful to the whole team, everyone back at the factory to Team LH all over the world who are always sticking by me.

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“We are learning more and more about the car. I am hoping that the car continues to be like it was this weekend. I am hoping from here onwards we are in a good place.” Red Bull have been left shocked at their early advantage and the lack of competition from their rivals.

Team boss Christian Horner recently commented: “We’ve never had a start like this and we’re kind of wondering ‘where are the others? We’ve made a normal step, we think, over the winter, and it’s more where did Ferrari and Mercedes go?

“I’m sure they’re working on big upgrades for Europe and with the penalty we have to develop the car later in the year, it’s important we have to get as much fresh air between ourselves and the opposition at this stage.”

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