Hamilton tips Verstappen & Leclerc challenge in 2020 and all change for 2021

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Lewis Hamilton believes Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen will offer his main competition in 2020.

The Briton faces perhaps his most pressure-filled season in quite some time next year as he bids to match Michael Schumacher as a seven-time world champion.

Not only that, the threat posed by Formula 1's next generation of stars will only increase, but Hamilton is more than ready to rumble.

“Leclerc & Verstappen are champions for the future," he told Reuters this week. "I think both have really fair, aggressive driving styles, which is great.

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“In terms of who is going to win, well hopefully I’m still here to try to stop them. I think Ferrari has a better chance of providing a car that can fight for the world title in the short term.”

One name that didn't come up, however, is Sebastian Vettel, though Hamilton insists he still respects the German.

“Myself and Seb have a huge amount of respect for each other,” he told Channel 4. “I think it’s grown over time.

“We have been at the forefront of the sport and we both appreciate just how hard it is individually for us to do what we do.

“Also, over time, Seb does his thing his own way and I do it my own way, and we respect that about each other.

“There is no judgment there and I think these tough battles we’ve had together has made us closer in that respect.

“It means a huge amount to have respect from other drivers.”

Vettel, Verstappen and Hamilton are three drivers that could potentially swap seats at the end of next season ahead of the big rule changes in 2021.

And Lewis, despite suggesting he is committed to Mercedes, has teased some changes could be coming.

“In this next year we must see drivers switching," he claimed. "There is a lot going on that is happening in the background, each driver is talking to certain teams."