Verstappen ’in the fight’ in 2019 - Hamilton

"He was right up there with us"

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By GMM

24 January 2019 - 08:30

Lewis Hamilton thinks Max Verstappen could be "in the fight" to win the 2019 world championship.

Verstappen’s 2018 teammate Daniel Ricciardo has fled to the works Renault team, but has also admitted that the Dutchman could have a title winning car this year.

"Max drove very well throughout last year, showing his consistency," 2018 world champion Hamilton said.

"He was right up there with us many, many times, so if his team does the job and delivers a platform with which he can compete even closer with us, then of course he’ll be in the fight," the Mercedes driver added.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, the 2018 runner-up, agrees that 21-year-old Verstappen is ripe for the title.

"I think he’s got all the ingredients," said the German.

"I think there’s a couple of guys out there who have these qualities and Max is certainly one of them."

Especially given his start to 2018, some believe Verstappen is still too inexperienced to be a consistent title challenger.

But the Dutchman insists he is "ready".

"I always find that a really difficult question, because you’re so dependent on the package in formula one," said Verstappen.

"I mean, I remember seeing Lewis and it seemed like he was ready for the title in his first year. So the first thing is hopefully we will have the package."

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