JJ Lehto: "Verstappen and Hamilton would not give each other an inch"
By Moritz Voss 30 September 2020 | 11:47
Former Formula 1 driver Jyrki Juhani Järvilehto, better known as JJ Lehto, thinks Max Verstappen has certainly not written off a switch to Mercedes, yet. If Red Bull Racing does not make significant progress, Lehto sees a future at the German racing team, although, a collaboration with Lewis Hamilton will be difficult.
"A driver of that caliber will keep his options absolutely open", said the Finn in conversation with Iltalehti. "With Red Bull, Verstappen can still win, albeit, only occasionally. However, there is no indication that this balance of power will soon change drastically. Red Bull remains the second best team, behind Mercedes."
That is why, according to JJ Lehto, a switch for Verstappen will certainly be an option when the team comes knocking. The only problem is that he would encounter a six-time world champion there: "Between Hamilton and Verstappen it would get completely out of hand on the circuit and off track."
"Those are two tough drivers who wouldn't give each other an inch on the track", says the former Sauber driver. Hamilton and Verstappen in the same team will cause sparks, which is undesirable from the team's perspective. For the same reason, Valtteri Bottas has been offered one-year contracts for years.
Will Bottas stay in case of Hamilton moving on?
Should Hamilton decide to stop at a certain point, that would open the door for Verstappen. Lehto wonders who he would end up next to: "Would Mercedes be willing to change both drivers when Hamilton leaves? Certainly, but Valtteri's experience and know-how would be very desirable in that case." (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images)
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