Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton
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Jos Verstappen has disagreed with his world champion son Max after the Red Bull star lapped his Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton struggled throughout the weekend and only managed to claim P13 – outside the points – while teammate George Russell came fourth.
Jos was clearly proud of his 24-year-old son’s achievement at Imola, lapping 2021 rival Hamilton to complete a weekend to forget for the Brit. He believes Red Bull are moving in the right direction after four races to open the 2022 season, and labelled Max’s performance as ‘tremendously strong’.
While the Red Bull ace wasn’t surprised with the lapping of Hamilton, his father Josh admitted he was pleasantly amazed. “He didn’t make a single mistake, was very solid and completely in control,” the 50-year-old wrote in his column for Verstappen.com. “It doesn’t happen very often that you get the chance to lap a Mercedes.”
His comment comes following the explosive rivalry between the Dutchman and the Brit which defined last season. Jos admitted it was good to see ‘after what happened last year’.
However, the 2021 world champion revealed that lapping Hamilton on Sunday didn’t bring him much joy, suggesting it was not ‘anything exciting’ for him. Verstappen passed Hamilton on lap 41.
“Mercedes has been slow all year, so for me it’s not anything exciting, it just happens,” the reigning world champion said. “It was a good weekend for us, we needed it.
“I didn’t expect us to have a weekend like this. But when you have a weekend at the end like this, that’s incredible: a one-two for the team but also maximum points scored. Also the way we handled the race, we didn’t really make any mistakes. A very positive weekend.”
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Hamilton was certainly more downbeat in his post-race interviews as he missed out on points for the first time this season. The Brit is now seventh in the Drivers’ Championship with 29 points – 58 behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who is 27 points ahead of Verstappen.
“A weekend to forget that’s for sure,” the seven-time world champion said. “I’m out of the championship for sure. There’s no question about that. I’ll still keep working as hard as I can and try and pull it back together somehow.”
The 22-race F1 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to a record 23 races in the near future once a Russian Grand Prix replacement is found – continues with the Miami Grand Prix on May 8.
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