Hamilton compares Pérez to his Mercedes teammates and comments on Verstappen’s success

Hamilton assesses Pérez's performance, contrasts former teammates, and acknowledges Verstappen's dominance and Red Bull's team efficacy.

Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is a voice of authority in the racing world, and his opinions carry weight. However, he recently downplayed the abilities of Sergio “Checo” Pérez, asserting that he always had superior teammates at Mercedes compared to what Max Verstappen has in Pérez.

Hamilton emphasized that Pérez has not been a formidable counterpart for Verstappen in the 2023 season, with Verstappen significantly outperforming Pérez Mendoza. In contrast, Hamilton pointed out that teammates like Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas always posed a greater challenge to him. He also highlighted others like Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, and his current teammate, George Russell.

“When I qualified half a second or six-tenths ahead of Valtteri, they didn’t say the same things they say today when Max qualifies six-tenths ahead of Pérez. In my personal opinion, Valtteri, and really all my teammates, have been stronger than any Max has had,” the British racer told the press.

Hamilton further elaborated, “Jenson (Button), Fernando (Alonso), George (Russell), Valtteri (Bottas), Nico (Rosberg). I’ve had so many. All of them have been very consistent, and Max hasn’t raced against anyone like them.” Over the years, Verstappen has had teammates such as Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon, and, since 2021, Checo Pérez.

A Glimpse into the Past

It’s worth noting that Hamilton’s appreciation for Sergio Pérez might have been tainted after the 2021 race. Pérez played a crucial role in that race, enabling Verstappen to snatch the title from Hamilton. Pérez managed to fend off Hamilton, allowing Verstappen to make up time. This defense earned Pérez the nickname “Minister of Defense.”

On the same topic:

Acknowledging Verstappen’s Reign

Regarding Verstappen’s overwhelming dominance, Sir Lewis wasn’t taken aback. He’s seen similar dominances in past championships from drivers like Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Fernando Alonso.

“We’ve seen it throughout history. I’m no more impressed than when Michael (Schumacher) led, when Sebastian (Vettel) led, when Kimi (Raikkonen) drove, when Fernando (Alonso) won… it’s the same,” the Mercedes driver remarked.

Praise for Red Bull

In a show of sportsmanship, Hamilton acknowledged the collective effort of the Red Bull team behind Max Verstappen, which has been instrumental in Verstappen’s trajectory towards his third title in the premier motorsport category.

“I believe the team as a whole is one of the strongest. The car is amazing, the driver is doing an incredible job, very consistently. The pit crew is doing a great job, the mechanics are doing good work, and the strategy is on point. They’re impeccable, and you can’t fault them,” Hamilton concluded.