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Verstappen digs at Hamilton: It's very easy when Bottas is so far behind

Written by  Dec 29, 2018

Max Verstappen has once again taken a shot at Lewis Hamilton by claiming he has it easy with Valtteri Bottas as his Mercedes teammate.

Despite a strong start to the 2018 season, the Finn's performance would suffer after losing out on victory in the closing laps in Baku and much of his year would then be spent playing a support role to Hamilton in his bid for a fifth championship.

After becoming the first Mercedes driver since 2012 to go a whole season without a win, the pressure is now on Bottas to put up a stronger fight next year and that would certainly please Verstappen.

"Most drivers would become world champions in that car," the Red Bull driver was quoted by GPFans. "Especially if you have a teammate next to you who is not so fast. 

"If your teammate always drives so far behind, it is very easy to collect points. Of course, I had Daniel Ricciardo much closer to me. Then you really have to fight for your points."

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Mercedes has also followed much more of the Ferrari approach to racing with a lead driver and a strong 'number two' whereas Red Bull treated their drivers equally, for the most part, and that, the Dutchman believes brings a different mindset.

"There at Mercedes, it was a completely different story. Hamilton fought against Ferrari and always had to stay sharp, but sometimes I think: the lesser your teammate is, the more relaxed you can drive yourself. 

"And then you also know that the team is fully geared towards you. That only makes you faster."

Verstappen can probably look forward to that luxury himself in 2019, up against Pierre Gasly who will need some time to find his feet at Red Bull.

The 21-year-old thinks the man Gasly replaces though, Daniel Ricciardo may have some regrets about his decision to leave.

"It was fun and pleasant to have him as a teammate, it is not often that you have such a good relationship with someone. Maybe it will never happen again, indeed," he claimed.

"But miss him…? I think that Daniel is going to miss what he had here."

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