Verstappen Shuts Down Suggestions Mercedes Don’t Need Hamilton - WTF1
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Verstappen Shuts Down Suggestions Mercedes Don’t Need Hamilton

Max Verstappen has come to Lewis Hamilton’s defence this weekend, after Mercedes still managed to secure a 1-2 in the Sakhir Grand Prix qualifying without Hamilton. 

When Lewis Hamilton revealed his positive COVID-19 results at the start of the week, many believed this was the perfect opportunity to showcase if Hamilton is really a genius at driving that car or whether anyone could jump into the W11 and achieve great results. 

George Russell got the call up to replace Hamilton for the weekend, and instantly got off to a good start by topping both practice sessions on Friday. 

Let it be known that this is not the first time Russell has stepped into a Mercedes, having always been someone who’s on the team’s radar and frequently tested for the silver arrows over the last few years. 

George Russell driving the Mercedes AMG F1 W10 at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Test © XPB Images
George Russell driving the Mercedes AMG F1 W10 at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Test © XPB Images

In 2019, Russell finished fastest during testing for Mercedes in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, in which he set the fastest times on the days he took part. 

He is no stranger to the team and this needs to be made clear to those who think Russell has just been given the ‘car keys’ with no prior knowledge or experience. 

With the absence of Lewis, the duo of Bottas and Russell managed to achieve a 1-2 for Mercedes, with Russell just 0.026s off the pole time of Bottas. 

Instantly, doubters began to point out how close Russell had come to Bottas with such little preparation time and in a car which he had to squeeze his 6’2” frame and size 11 feet into. 

In the post-race qualifying media session, the trio of Russell, Bottas and Verstappen were asked if Mercedes needed a “big bucks star like Lewis Hamilton to lock out the front row”. 

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen © XPB Images
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen © XPB Images

Verstappen’s answered with a quick and witty response. 

“Of course you do,” he pauses.

“Because he will make the difference in the most crucial moments. 

“That is why he is a seven-time world champion.”

What do you think? Do you agree with Max? Let us know.

0 thoughts on “Verstappen Shuts Down Suggestions Mercedes Don’t Need Hamilton

  • Barrie Lindsey says:

    Max is right, there are many good drivers on the grid, but when the chips are down there are some that can produce that moment of magic. Though I am no Hamilton fan, he does have that gift.

    • Just like Lewis beat Ferrari in 18 and 19 when Ferrari had there op engine .personally I’d prefer to see Russel and Lewis . I think that would make for one entertaining lineup . . The would produce some great races the both fair racers .don’t play dirty . And the both have skills

  • Robert Anderson says:

    Great to hear his peers see Lewis for what he really is. The one to beat, not the one lucky enough to drive the car to beat

      • Ehmmm Idk what you mean, but I do understand what Robert means and he’s right. In no way does Verstappen need Hamilton atm but okay. And it’s indeed nice to see that Verstappen does know Hamilton is really good and not just in the best car, he knows it’s not only the Mercedes. When the RB matches the Mercedes, Verstappen knows he still needs to beat Lewis to get close to a title.

  • After today’s race there should be zero doubt regarding Lewis being the glue that holds Mercedes together!

    • C-TEAM TRADING says:

      Hahaha typical Hamilton fan boy. If anything today proved Lewis has had a good luck run and a rookie can fill his seat in the rocketship and still win!!!

      • Winning six championships is no luck, you have to have it…even the great Michael Schumacher will attest to that…

      • The rookie is an F2 champion who has an experience in the Mercedes. Not just anyone. If it was me luck then he would’ve been very lucky. If it’s purely the car then both drivers would have 50% chance of winning and pole position. But that’s not the case. If you say Bottas isn’t good, then you are agreeing that it’s not just the car. Stupid.

    • T Ray Olusola says:

      Hamilton is a significant part of the reason Mercedes are as successful as they are today, just as Mercedes are a significant part of the reason Hamilton is as successful as he is today.

      I wouldn’t expect Hamilton to pull any blinders but it’s pretty evident that he will at least outperform the car. Much like Russell does on a regular basis. I have faith, Perez, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Leclerc could do the same, with differing degrees of talent and experience.

  • C-TEAM TRADING says:

    Today proved that Lewis is not a legend only above average and that any good driver can win in the Merc. Same car George, Max , Sebastian and Charl would give him a good dusting

    • So Lewis is above average but Russel is good, for the similiar results? Charles the torpedo and Vettel the ballerina would give him a dusting? Lets not kid ourselves. You haters contradict yourself in one sentence without even realising it, its actually quite amusing.

    • Jeffrey James says:

      Why is it all the negativiy on Lewis no one has ever mentioned it on Schumacher he is also a 7 time championship. In any job you do good you get payed better.

    • There’s seems too be a lot of people out there who support the F1 scene. But are jealous of one man’s success!!!! What a shame.

    • Really last years Ferrari was the best car and did Vettel or Charl win the title errrmmmm nope wonder why

    • Atoms in a Sugarcube says:

      Well, what we can say is that Russell is a talented lad who grabbed his opportunity. The true test would be if Russell and Hamilton had two tests both driving the Merc and then both driving the Williams.

  • It took 2 disasters to prevent Russell from winning today. He had 3 pitstops in a one stop race. I would call that as dominant as any driver Mercedes has had. On his debut.

  • What else do you expect Max to say? He ain’t going to shoot his own leg and see his contract reduced next time around. Doh 🙂

  • Karthik Balaji says:

    Even if one were to say that Lewis is “lucky” enough to drive the ‘car to beat’, one cannot discount either his role in getting himself into that car, or his role in getting that car to where it is today. And that’s just to get the results on any given day. What sets him apart is his ability to extract those results race after race, season after season for as long as he has. Totally agree with Max’s statement of, “That is why he is a seven-time World Champion.”

    • Plus I don’t think hamilton would have come in with that puncture which could have been a faulty sensor, and ruin the chance of winning ,hamilton would have give it a few more laps

  • Michael Webster says:

    I don’t think Hamilton would have come in for a tyre change when the call went out, that’s the difference.

  • No, they don’t. Russell is
    good enough to top the grill with a Mercedes.
    Hamilton is not MS and he’ll never be as good. Let’s not forget he was beaten by two if his team mates.
    Now, all comes to how Russell is able to help engineers to develop the car.

  • Yes they do, Lewis has come a long way with the team and the car is at its best due to the push Lewis has been driving like MS during the days of Ferrari

  • Leslie Marczi says:

    George is an incredible driver, far better than most on the grid(or deserve to be). So no, I don’t think just any driver could have done what George did. He gets what he can out of that William’s car every weekend. Give him even a mid field car and you would see him on the podium and in the high point finishes more often…… also a player in the championship….?

  • Hamilton has done it year in year out under extreme pressure and still won , look at vettel how many mistakes in a ferrari , Lewis rarely makes a mistake that’s why he is the best 👌 I’m Lewis fan boy 7 times champion over and out

  • Atlanticboy35 says:

    This race has just proven that Russell is fast but that doesn’t make him an immediate champion. Just ask Charles Leclerc! and perhaps that’s why Max Verstappen said what he did because he knows Lewis Hamilton would not have crashed into him.

  • I remember one year (2016) his teammate Nico Rosberg beat LH for the WDC …. I can’t remember Michael Schumacher’s team mates ever getting that close! 😬

    • Terence Beckett says:

      And he cheated in Monaco qually to help himself.. and gave up straigh after because he knew he couldn’t do it again.

  • Lewis is the GOAT(fact), he is on the best car no doubt but he won a race on every single F1 championship that he took part since 2007, I cannot recall another driver in the last 20 years to do so. He’s currently watching live on is sofa F1 races on the championship that he already won. Lol….

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