Lewis Hamilton: Michael Schumacher similarity must end for Max Verstappen to truly be best

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Lewis Hamilton is not as fast as Max Verstappen and George Russell proves it, according to Red Bull chief Christian Horner. Hamilton became a seven-time F1 world champion matching the great Michael Schumacher last year to cement himself as one of the best the sport has ever seen.

But Horner believes Verstappen is faster than the Brit and Russell proved that when he stepped into the Mercedes for the Sakhir Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old qualified second and looked on course to win but for a pit stop calamity and a puncture.

Horner believes the Mercedes car is so dominant that Verstappen is actually faster than Hamilton.

The Red Bull boss does not believe what Russell did could be replicated in the Red Bull car if someone stood in at the last minute.

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“I think he is the best, yes,” Horner told RacingNews365. “Russell’s performance at Mercedes confirmed that for me.

“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.”

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While Horner may have a point it isn’t a comparison that rings true as Mercedes have two drivers who have proven class in Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

His comments come off the back of two years with Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon as Verstappen’s team-mates at Red Bull.

Gasly and Albon were two inexperienced drivers who were arguably put in the same position as some of Michael Schumacher’s team-mates at Ferrari.

The German was always favoured by the Italian team, similar to how Verstappen is viewed by many at Red Bull.

Only this year will we see a true reflection of just how quick the Dutchman is when he goes up against Sergio Perez who is in the prime of his career.

That is if Red Bull give both drivers the same chance.

There have been question marks in the past over this from Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber when they teamed with Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel respectively.

There is no doubt Verstappen is one of the fastest F1 drivers on the grid but to say he is quicker than Hamilton is a step too far.

In years to come it may be proven right but Hamilton’s sheer dominance of the sport last year proves he is the class of the field.

The 2021 F1 season begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 28.

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