Red Bull’s Max Verstappen goes on a praising spree about his current rivals Ferrari and a change in the paddock atmosphere due to this.
2021 World Champion Max Verstappen takes a dig at his former arch-rival, Lewis Hamilton. According to the Dutch driver, he prefers Ferrari as a competitor over Mercedes.
Max Verstappen climbed the F1 ladder through Toro Rosso. After signing for Red Bull, it was clearly visible that Lewis Hamilton could potentially have a competitor in near future.
That is what happened. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton battled in 2019, and 2020 and eventually snatched the title away at the end of the 2021 season.
The 2021 Abu Dhabi last lap finale
The final race of the 2021 season is well documented. The Red Bull driver overtook Hamilton after the safety car period on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Through this, he won his first world championship. However, tensions were high throughout the season with the pair’s collisions in Silverstone, Monza, and Saudi Arabia.
Gone are those days, Mercedes’ W13 is not capable enough to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull. Hence, Verstappen is currently battling with Charles Leclerc for the world championship.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 29, 2022
Max Verstappen prefers Ferrari over Mercedes as a competitor
Talking about his rivalry preference, Verstappen stated: “I prefer what we have now. First of all, Charles, I know him very well. He’s a nice guy, we are a similar age, we’re only three weeks apart.”
The 2021 world champion praised Ferrari and called them a ‘well-respected competitor’. He added: “When they [Ferrari] win a race, we can go to them and say well done. And when we win a race they can say well done. I really respect that.”
According to Verstappen, the atmosphere of the paddock is very positive compared to last season. The Red Bull driver in conclusion shared an insight into his F1 competition.
He said: “I have a really good relationship with Mattia Binotto. Even on Saturday night, we had a laugh in Paul Ricard. We are hard competitors on the track but outside of it, you can have a good time as well.”