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Max Verstappen is “definitely” faster than Sir Lewis Hamilton and has better car control than the seven-time World Champion, senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has said.

 

 

 

Hamilton and Verstappen look set to be the two Championship protagonists this year, marking the first time the pair will be able to go toe-to-toe over the course of a season

 

 

Red Bull seem to have the superior car and they typically outperform their rivals when it comes to in-season development, but Mercedes appear to be close enough to keep the Championship battle interesting and potentially take it right down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

Speaking after the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which Verstappen won to reduce his deficit to Hamilton in the standings to a single point, Dr Marko insisted that the Dutch ace has more raw pace than the Mercedes driver.

 

 

 

 

 

“The two will decide the title among themselves. They are at eye-level but way ahead of everyone else,” Dr Marko said.

 

 

 

“If we can keep on delivering a car that will keep up with Mercedes, Max can do it. In any case, it will be extremely exciting.”Continuing, the Austrian said: “When it comes to car control and speed, Max is definitely ahead.

 

 

“But Lewis has more experience. That is still in the balance at the moment. “Max learns something new with every race. He is still young. Mistakes are more likely to happen, even if they become fewer and fewer.”

 

 

Earlier this year, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claimed that George Russell’s strong stand-in performance for Hamilton at Mercedes in Bahrain last season “confirmed” that Verstappen is the best driver on the current F1 grid.

 

 

 

“I think he is the best, yes. Russell’s performance at Mercedes confirmed that for me,” Horner said.

“Max and Lewis stand out for me, but while we absolutely should not be blind to all that Hamilton has achieved, he does have access to a good package while Max has to get more and more out of his car.

“You can see that by the fact that a driver from Williams qualified directly on the front row of the grid and almost won the race.

“If someone had to get into Max’s car, if he had coronavirus, they would never reach his level of performance,” the Red Bull team principal added.

Continuing, Horner described Verstappen’s qualifying pace as “extraordinary” and said “his race craft is excellent, along with his tyre management.”

 

 

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