Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen had a thrilling battle at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Nelson Piquet feels it would not be a contest were they on the same team.
On older tyres, Hamilton produced a brilliant drive to repel a charging Verstappen and win the opening race of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Verstappen was the dominant force in practice and qualifying, but Hamilton and his Mercedes team outfoxed the Dutchman in the race.
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It looks like Hamilton and his Red Bull rival are set for a fierce duel this season, but three-time world champion Piquet feels Verstappen is the superior driver.
“It’s not that Hamilton isn’t good," Piquet said. “But he has an inferior driver by his side and the previous one [Nico Rosberg] was even worse.
“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 [Valtteri] Bottas by his side as a second driver.”
Hamilton and Verstappen will renew their rivalry when the F1 season heads to Imola on April 18.
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