F1 star Lewis Hamilton is poised to lock horns with Max Verstappen again this year.
Lewis Hamilton is currently gearing up towards another F1 title tussle with Max Verstappen. The two men enter the new season as the overwhelming favourites to reign supreme, having enthralled the Formula One world with their rivalry last year. And comments from the Mercedes star on his future suggest he won’t let his Red Bull counterpart get a moment’s rest as they go in search of glory.
However, Verstappen then reigned supreme instead with the Red Bull driver overtaking on the final lap of the campaign to secure the prize.
For Hamilton, it was a crushing blow.
The 37-year-old had been hoping to move out in front of Michael Schumacher in the sport’s history books on eight titles, an unparalleled feat.
Yet that day will have to wait. The new season starts later this month and Hamilton will be eager to claim what he feels he was robbed of back in December.
Speaking recently, Hamilton opened up on retirement and admitted he’d contemplated quitting the sport.
“Naturally, I think at the end of any season, probably for those that are around my age, of course you’re thinking about the future,” he said.
“You’re thinking about, what are the next steps? What are the right steps for you to take, and what’s right for you in terms of overall happiness?
“So I always evaluate all my options.”
Hamilton did insist, however, that he loves F1 too much to turn his back on it now.
“I did make a commitment to the team earlier on in the season,” he said.
“And ultimately, I love what I do.
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“I love being a part of a team. I love working with – and I’ve said it so many times – everyone towards a common goal.
“And I feel at my best, so why do I need to leave?
“Of course, dealing with… There are so many different ways you can refocus and get recentered, and I would say this one was one of the best that I’ve experienced.”
And it’s those comments that should strike fear into Verstappen as he looks to dominate F1 for many years to come.
Hamilton isn’t a faded force. Had it not been for a safety car, he’d already be ahead of Schumacher in the history charts.
The way he performed at the end of last season was sensational, to say the least.
Verstappen had been crossing towards glory, especially after winning the Mexico Grand Prix back in November.
Yet Hamilton triumphed in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to close the gap and give him a fighting chance.
It was nothing short of brilliant from the Stevenage-born racer, who showed exactly what he was all about in the process.
And with Hamilton admitting he’s still enthusiastic about F1, Verstappen will have to pull something spectacular out of the bag.
Hamilton, despite missing out on the title last time out, is the favourite to emerge victorious this time around.
And with the FIA now restructured, it’ll be fascinating to see what Verstappen can produce as he sets about retaining his championship.
Meanwhile, former F1 star Johnny Herbert thinks Hamilton and Mercedes may have the edge on Verstappen and Red Bull this year.
“I think Mercedes did so well last year because of the budget cap coming into effect,” he told Sky Sports.
“Last year, their big upgrade was at Silverstone.
“Red Bull seemed to do one more or less every race that we went to.
“So maybe [Mercedes] are going to be pushing that budget towards what they’re going to be using this year.
“For Mercedes, I think it could happen again for Lewis.”