Verstappen will pose huge challenge to Hamilton in 2021, claims former F1 champions Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button

While Lewis Hamilton struggled in the pre-season testing in Bahrain, Max Verstappen emerged as the fastest driver on track.

Rohan GulatyAuthor

Updated - 22 March 2021 06:49 PM


The 2021 Formula One season is just a few days away from its kick-off in Bahrain. With few regulation changes, new driver line-ups and so many exciting things lined up for new season, the fans are hoping for one more change this season i.e a new champion. 7-time champion Lewis Hamilton has been completely dominating F1 for last four seasons and has clinched the titles in one-sided affairs. However, F1 legends believe that Hamilton will finally face a huge challenge in his quest to win the record-breaking 8th title in 2021.

I don’t think anyone’s been that close for many years: Nico Rosberg

Former F1 driver Nico Rosberg was the last driver to beat Hamilton in F1. The German achieved the feat in 2016 when he defeated his Mercedes' teammate to lift the championship before announcing his retirement. While the 35-year-old claimed that Lewis is going to be the favorite once again, he opined that Max will pose a huge challenge to the Brit this season.

In a conversation with Sky Sports, Rosberg said, "It still has to go on Lewis because nobody can fathom someone actually beating Lewis throughout the entire season on points. So, the money would still have to go to Lewis. But Max Verstappen, in particular, is as close as ever before in pre-season in terms of the odds to beat Lewis to the championship. I don’t think anyone’s been that close for many, many years.”

It's exactly what Formula 1 needs right now: Jenson Button

Former F1 driver Jenson Button is also one of the only few drivers who have defeated Lewis Hamilton in the past. The 41-year-old did it in 2009 when he went on clinch a historic F1 championship. The Brit believes that it is going to be really exciting season after Max emerged as the fastest driver during pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Reflecting on the upcoming season, Jenson Button said, “It’s exactly what we want, to have Lewis up against Max. They are both extraordinary drivers. It’s really exciting. Max, as always, is giving it his all, is at the top of his game, and I think he’s really going to take the fight to Lewis. Team-mates fighting for a championship is great but when it’s drivers from different teams, it’s the best. It’s exactly what Formula 1 needs right now.”

It is undoubtedly going to be a thrilling battle between the calmness of Hamilton and the aggression of Verstappen this season. The inaugural race weekend of Formula One 2021 season will commence on Friday, with Bahrain Grand Prix scheduled on March 28.


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