Hamilton reaction proves he feels threatened by Verstappen - Jos

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Lewis Hamilton feels threatened by the increasing presence of Max Verstappen, the Dutchman's father Jos claims.

Since the Austrian Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver has been the best scoring driver with two victories, though would lose out to Hamilton in a head-to-head duel in Hungary.

His progress is raising the prospect of Formula 1's next big rivalry as Max tries to end the dominance of the Briton and his Mercedes team and Verstappen Sr. believes his son is already in Lewis' head.

“You can tell by the things Hamilton has been saying," he told GrandPrix247.

“Why would he respond to rumours? He says that the Honda engine is better than Mercedes now, but I don’t think that’s the case on the straights.

“[But] when you see what kind of races Max has been driving, I don’t think you can be surprised [that Hamilton is worried].”

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This year there was even speculation of Hamilton and Verstappen teaming up at Mercedes, with the five-time champion wanting the opportunity to fight him in the same car.

However, that has since died down and Jos, a former F1 driver himself, says Max is committed to the Red Bull-Honda project.

“The whole preparation is so much better than in previous years," he commented.

“There is a real collaboration and exchange of ideas between Red Bull and Honda. We try to help them, they try to help us.

"The Honda people are real winners and so are we. The level of devotion is the same on both sides,” he added.

The big question is when Verstappen and Red Bull can become genuine challengers to Hamilton for the title and team boss Christian Horner believes that will come next season.

“As we get better performance from the car, and as Honda moves forward, it will be a year of construction for 2020,” he told France's Auto Hebdo.

“Hopefully there are more exciting races to come this year, and Max can keep racing against Lewis and Ferrari. It’s promising for the future."