In Brief

F1: ‘Max Verstappen may already be fastest, but Lewis Hamilton is still the best’

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko gives his verdict on the two drivers

Marko: Hamilton still the best  

Lewis Hamilton’s wealth of experience gives the six-time Formula 1 world champion a “huge advantage” over Max Verstappen. 

That’s the opinion of Red Bull Racing advisor Dr Helmut Marko when asked about the two F1 drivers ahead of the new season

Mercedes star Hamilton, 34, goes into 2020 looking to win a record-equalling seventh title, but Red Bull’s Verstappen, 22, will be aiming to stop the Briton’s domination at the front of the grid. 

Speaking to German publication motorsport-total.com, Marko said: “Max may already be the fastest. But as a package, Hamilton is still the best. 

“He has an incredible basic speed and obviously much more experience than Max, and that is a huge advantage. 

“Naturally, it’s better to drive a car that gives you an easier life, and that’s what Red Bull wants to change in 2020.”

‘Best is yet to come’: Max Verstappen eyes F1 title with Red Bull after extending contract

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff speaks with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas

Getty Images

Briatore: Wolff will stay at Mercedes

Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore says speculation linking Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff with a move to Ferrari in 2021 “makes no sense”. 

Lewis Hamilton has been linked with a switch to rivals Ferrari and it’s also been reported in recent weeks that Wolff could join the driver at Maranello.   

In an interview with Rai radio in Italy, Briatore said: “Toto Wolff at Ferrari in 2021? He is a shareholder at Mercedes so it makes no sense to become an employee of another team. 

“I had dinner with Toto the other night and he’s staying there. It would also not be the solution to their [Ferrari’s] problems. 

“Ferrari needs a leader but what is really important is the car. 

“Look at Renault. They gave a boat load of money to [Daniel] Ricciardo, but it would have been better to invest it in the car.

“Ferrari needs a car within half a tenth of Mercedes, and only then can the driver make the difference.”

Mick Schumacher tested the Scuderia Ferrari SF90 at Bahrain International Circuit on 2 April

2021 ‘too early’ for Ferrari youngsters 

The Daily Express reports that Lewis Hamilton has been “handed a boost” in his chances of driving for Ferrari in the future. 

Ferrari have already secured Charles Leclerc on a new five-year contract and Hamilton is one driver who is rumoured to be a possible replacement for Sebastian Vettel. Another driver in the running for a seat at Ferrari is Mick Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael.

The 20-year-old, who currently races in Formula 2 and is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), is being earmarked for a seat at the Scuderia. However, while the German is a “good candidate” the 2021 season may be too soon, says Mattia Binotto. 

Ferrari team principal Binotto told Autosport: “Will he be a candidate for Ferrari either in the future? It’s really too early on. But again, the aim of the FDA is to find the next talent for Ferrari and he is part of the FDA because we believe he’s got the talent to stay in this group.

“2021 will be too early for one of our young talents, too. In 2021 some experience from drivers will be important because it’s a completely new type of car.”

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