In Brief

F1: Hamilton and Vettel back Verstappen for 2019 title bid

Red Bull driver is expected to challenge next season

The 2018 Formula 1 championship was a straight shoot-out between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel but the title rivals believe Max Verstappen can provide further competition next year.

After his victory in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, Mercedes driver Hamilton finished the 2018 campaign as champion on 408 points - 88 clear of Ferrari’s Vettel.

Red Bull star Verstappen, 21, finished fourth in the standings but had a number of impressive drives in the latter part of the season, including the win in Mexico in October.

In 2019 Red Bull will have Honda as their new engine provider and if the partnership succeeds then Verstappen could find himself challenging for honours.

Five-time world champion Hamilton told Autosport: “Max has been driving very well throughout the year and has shown his consistency and has been up here many, many times with us.

“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.”

Ferrari’s Vettel, a four-time world champion, added: “On the track, I don’t think he needs any advice. I think he’s got all the ingredients.

“There’s a couple of guys out there who have these qualities and Max is certainly one of them.”

Recommended

Can Raducanu step back into the limelight? 
Emma Raducanu lost to Camila Giorgi at the Canadian Open 
Speed Reads

Can Raducanu step back into the limelight? 

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag
View from the terraces

‘Horror’ start: Ten Hag has a ‘hell of a job’ at United

Serena and her ‘evolution’ away from tennis
Serena Williams beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz at the Canadian Open in Toronto on 8 August
Profile

Serena and her ‘evolution’ away from tennis

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?
The 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham
Behind the scenes

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 August 2022

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’

The Week Footer Banner