The top two think Verstappen is ready to challenge

31-12-2018 09:30
by Bobby Vincent
The top two think Verstappen is ready to challenge

The 2018 top two of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both believe that rival Max Verstappen is ready to properly challenge the pair in 2019; as long as Honda and Red Bull works out as a partnership.

Verstappen finished fourth in 2018 overall; but had an almost-perfect second half of the campaign - only to be outscored by world champion Hamilton.

Red Bull have made the decision to switch to Honda next season, ending their stay with Renault; hoping that this will give them the last bit of fuel needed to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari throughout the 2019 campaign.

"Max has been driving very well throughout the year and has shown his consistency and has been up here many, many times with us," Hamilton explained to Sky Sports.

"So if his team does the job and delivers a platform with which he can compete even closer with us, then of course, he'll be in the fight."

Vettel lost out to Hamilton this season, despite having the stronger car for most of the season, and it sounds like he's a tad threatened by the emergence of the 21-year-old Dutch driver.

"On the track, I don't think he needs any advice," Vettel said. "I think he's got all of the ingredients. I think there's a couple of guys out there who have these qualities and Max is certainly one of them.

"I think we've seen that. I also remember from my time, it's important to have a competitive package throughout the season and Red Bull are certainly very, very strong and I think they put more performance to their car than any other team across the year."

"Max and Daniel (Ricciardo) have proven that they can be very, very quick and very consistent so I'm sure (we'll see) more of him."

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