MAX VERSTAPPEN took a dig at rival Lewis Hamilton’s form saying his rival’s ‘undrivable’ car can’t be that bad as team-mate George Russell is performing well.
Hamilton has endured a shocking start to the 2022 Formula 1 season and now world champion Verstappen has added insult to injury just before the Miami GP.
Hamilton, 37, is currently seventh in the 2022 standings with an insurmountable 58 points separating him from top spot which is held by Charles Leclerc.
He and his team have blamed the “undrivable” Mercedes cars for his terrible performances after he placed a humiliating 13th in his last race in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Verstappen, who is currently second overall and won the Italian leg, seems not to buy the reason for his poor form – pointing out that Hamilton’s new team-mate Russell is fourth overall in the standings.
Speaking to The Telegraph in Miami ahead of this weekend’s race he said: “I had great battles with Lewis last year. Now he’s in a car which is not so great.
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“Having said that, por supuesto, George does finish fourth in that car. So it is not all horrific right?"
His comments came after being asked if he enjoyed lapping his bitter rival during his convincing win in the last race: “Para ser sincero, it wasn’t something I was enjoying at the time.”
Él agregó: “I was just focused on my race, on getting through the traffic as cleanly as possible and winning. quiero decir, it wasn’t like I was, 'Oh, I’m lapping Lewis, what an amazing feeling’.”
Russell, 24, has finished ahead of Hamilton in three of the four races this season with the seven-time world champ already ruling himself out of the F1 title race, just four races into the season.
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Él dijo: “I am out of the championship, con seguridad, no question. I will keep working as hard as I can and try to somehow put it back together.”
The Mercedes team have been facing challenges with Hamilton suffering mechanical failures but last weekend’s race seemed to be lost due to pace alone.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes chief, apologised for the state of the car.
He told Hamilton: “Sorry for what you have had to drive today. I know this is undriveable.
“We are not good enough for a world champion, not worthy for a world champion.”
Russell, who is doing well despite the car, placed fourth in Italy but did say the severe bouncing causes him pain in his chest.
Verstappen was asked if Mercedes were pretending to have issues with their cars and were “sandbagging”.
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In response he joked: “I think there are lots of sandbags somewhere in their car.”
Wolff, who is desperately looking for a solution, adicional: “We need to fix the car. I think we can make a step in understanding the car, bring development to it which will fix the bouncing.”