Lewis Hamilton brushes off Max Verstappen criticism as 'sign of weakness'

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The Formula One teams have now begun to unveil their new cars for the 2020 season, and to the surprise of few, it’s kindled a dispute between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Last week, Verstappen insisted that if Red Bull provided him with a vehicle which could match the new Mercedes W11, he could beat Hamilton to this year’s F1 World Championship.

He added, with a smile on his face: “Lewis is very good. He is definitely one of the best out there but he is not God. Maybe God is with him, but he is not God.”

Given that Hamilton has six titles already and could match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven this year, it’s easy to understand why a young driver like Verstappen might be a bit frustrated.

But when you’re Lewis Hamilton, sitting pretty at the top of F1 as the undisputed best driver around, there’s no reason to get sucked into a war of words before the season starts.

During the Mercedes car launch, the 35-year-old British racer brushed off Verstappen’s comments with the air of a man self-assured, full of confidence and ready to race.

He said: "I find it funny. I have always been known to do my talking on the track, so I tend to see that as a sign of weakness.

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"At this time of the year you don't feel any pressure. You are focused but it is about enjoying the moment.

"It is a real privilege to be wanted to stay and to be part of a great team. That is a great feeling, and I hope I can continue to help to contribute to the team's success.

"Every year I am trying to improve, take a step up, refine the game and the mental approach. That is the real challenge.

"But I have a great team that I get to work with and every year we are extracting more from each other. This is my eighth-year driving for Mercedes and the buzz is the same."

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For our sake as fans, let’s hope that Verstappen and Red Bull can deliver on their promises and step up to compete with Mercedes – Lewis should be made to work for that seventh title!

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