Max on Lewis: Won a lot, but doesn’t define a great

A rather ongoing debate here on TJ13 over the years, perhaps less so in recent times, no doubt due to the fact it’s been discussed ad infinitum – Is Lewis Hamilton ‘A Great’ of F1? (WORTH A READ COMPARING TEAM MATE BATTLES BEFORE MERCEDES)

Certainly, during an interview with the UK newspaper The Telegraph , Max Verstappen was asked why Max is so reluctant to lavish extravagant accolades upon Lewis Hamilton, then the UK paper says, in a rather typical UK media fashion, say that by common consent that Lewis Hamilton is “the finest driver of his generation”.


I suppose many would see that as true, obviously discounting the car advantage Lewis has enjoyed for so many years, but one does wonder what fireworks would erupt if one was to place Verstappen in the same team as Hamilton, and just who would come out on top.

Alas, it’s unlikely Lewis would allow someone such as Verstappen in as a team mate so we will never know but if Verstappen stays on at Red Bull, perhaps we might see more challenges similar to the one we just witnessed in Hungary.


“Mercedes are clearly still the dominant force, but we are closing in,” Verstappen says. “We can give them a hard time. We already have the edge in some areas”

“If we can make another small jump in qualifying, then we can make it really difficult for them.”

Well, Verstappen in Hungary obviously ticked that box on the tight and twisty, less power unit sensitive, track.

Before the race, during an interview at least a week prior with The Telegraph, Verstappen seemed rather unimpressed by Lewis Hamilton’s record saying:

“Lewis has won many championships, but that doesn’t define ‘great’,” he argues. “He’s undoubtedly one of the best who has ever done it. But really, to say that he’s the best of his generation?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s Fernando Alonso. He could have won seven, eight world titles, if he had been at the right team.”


Post-race, after Hamilton managed to win by overtaking Verstappen on the 67th lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis clearly rates and values as a worthy opponent such as Max ensuring all take note of the difficulty of his victory.

“Obviously there is really no better feeling from a racing drivers’ point of view,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports

“When you have a race like today and you face a really strong competitor and a great driver like Max, who is obviously at his best and continuing to perform great, it’s really comforting.

“It’s awesome. I really am happy.”

Hamilton signed off finally by giving respect to his Dutch competitor saying:

“He put the car in some good places, I gave him space and more today but that’s mainly from a mindset, if we were fighting on the same points it may have been a lot more aggressive.

“But there was no need for that today and it was really just making sure that when we do finally pull off an overtaking manoeuvre that was clean.”

TJ13 welcomes it’s readers thoughts on the pair, please comment below and don’t forget to vote in the reader polls above.



13 responses to “Max on Lewis: Won a lot, but doesn’t define a great

  1. Hamilton displays a dignity and maturity that Verstappen still lacks. The fact that Verstappen has already polished off some of the sharp edges in his driving ought to teach him to be more respectful off the track about his competitors.
    I wonder if he also applies the maxim about championships to Schumacher? There seems to be a lot of love between Jos and Schumi so does Max have the same respect for Michael or maybe he doesn’t rate him among the greats either? Indeed, who does Max rate highly…….Jan Lammers?

    • The question was if Verstappen thought Hamilton is the greatwst of his generation and Verstappens answer is quite valid. Has nothing to do with beeing disrespectfull. BtwLammers and Verstappen is not a real good marriage 😉

  2. Clearly Verstappen was the dominant force in qualifying and that first fifty laps of the GP. How much more overspeed does he need to feel comfortable with Hamilton?

    • Overspeed? Clearly a lot more because he came second.
      Dominant force? For the first time after 93 races (5 seasons)……..hardly a consistent lifetime record to paint a trendline.

  3. Need to stop this bullshit about Hamilton not allowing Max into the team. It was Max who rejected Merc’s offers back in 2017.It was Max who chickened out. Also, too many are conveniently forgetting that Ferrari had the quicker car in 2018 (or equally as quick as Merc), yet Hamilton destroyed Vettel. So, the “it’s all the car rather than the driver” arguments are pure nonsense.

    • What was the lesson? That you can try to get under Lewis’ skin but you can’t beat him on the track?

  4. Absolutely laughable, everyone’s defence of Lewis from that meanie Max.

    I don’t remember where I read the figures but during this hybrid era Mercedes has won something like 83-87% of the races.

    Of course, Ferrari had a svelte car in 2017/18 and many suspect an Alonso would have taken both titles.

    Many times over those two seasons, Lewis drove great races but…

    There are not many journalists and experts who wouldn’t claim the Spaniard as the greatest of his generation yet he has 30 odd wins and 2 titles?

    Hamilton made an inspired move to join Mercedes but does anybody really believe if he’d have stayed with Mclaren that he’d be on his way to his 6th title?

    Might be worth noting, Schumacher and Jos were good friends and holidayed together with their families. There’s every chance that Max learnt direct from the seven times champion that without the car, you don’t win

    • You don’t need top go on a Schumacher holiday to know the fastest car gives the best chance of winning but you probably DO have to holiday with the Schumachers if you want to get into Formula One when you are 17 years old without having won a major championship in F2 or F3.

      • Palmer, Maldonado, Leimer were all GP2 champions – were are they today? And as for Michael Schumacher – he never won a major single seat championship until F1. They only thing he won was the German F3 championship at 21, which wasn’t much of a series.

  5. I think that max did a brilliant job of holding Hamilton off as long as he did considering that Hamilton’s superior power unit was about 1-2 seconds a lap quicker than everybody else.

    • Hamilton’s car was NOT “1-2 seconds a lap quicker than everyone else” (except maybe the Williams……the reason Lewis was able to catch the Red Bull at that rate was because he had fresh mediums compared to the Red Bull which had old hards. If Red Bull had responded with tyre change (or even anticipated and gone for a two-stop also), there would have been a more exciting fight but that didn’t happen and Red Bull are now left with regrets (and a woefully off-pace Gasly).

Leave a Reply to Pieter BAKKERCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.