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Nelson Piquet says Verstappen “would smash” Hamilton with equal car

Max Verstappen on the podium in Bahrain. Credits: Red Bull Content Pool.

Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet thinks that Max Verstappen “would smash” Lewis Hamilton if the Dutchie was driving the Mercedes car alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The three-time Formula One champion said that it is not easy to make a direct comparison between two drivers that are not driving the same car. However, he believes that Max would beat Hamilton if they could battle with the same machinery. 

Piquet also spent some words about Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas. “It’s not that Hamilton isn’t good. But he has an inferior driver by his side, and the previous one [Nico Rosberg] was even worse.”

Nelson Piquet Jr. also thinks that Verstappen wants to beat and destroy Lewis, saying he is “coming with a knife between his teeth.” 

Piquet told Motorsport.com: “First of all, we have to consider that F1 is a category with different cars, so it’s very difficult to make a direct comparison between two drivers if they are not on the same team. But if Max were driving for Mercedes, I’m sure that he would smash Hamilton.

“Max is more aggressive. He may make mistakes more frequently due to this aggressiveness, but in my opinion, he’s better than Hamilton. Things are too easy for Hamilton to win it all with Bottas by his side as a second driver.

“It’s a little bit like Mansell and myself in Williams, with the other drivers far behind. I won the 1987 championship, and I wasn’t driving like before, because I had an accident at the beginning of the year and had field depth problems. But I won that championship, with a bit of luck. I should have won in 1986, but won in 1987.

“But it was so easy. The car was far better than the others. And Mercedes is far better than the others for the past years.”

Piquet Jr also added: “Lewis has already won seven championships, so he comes with another type of ‘fire’. And that can make a difference. 

“I like to compare Max with an MMA fighter, coming ready to face any challenge. It’s different from Lewis, that already won championships and so on.

“Lewis’ experience will help in some areas, but Max’s willingness and aggressiveness are bigger.”

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