Coulthard: Hamilton "truly relishing" Verstappen F1 title fight

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton is “truly relishing the challenge” he is facing against Max Verstappen in the drivers championship.

Coulthard: Hamilton "truly relishing" Verstappen F1 title fight

The 13-time grand prix winner said he has seen “a different Lewis in this challenge” and believes the Mercedes driver is “so motivated” by the title fight.

Red Bull leads the constructors' championship with 286 points ahead of this weekend’s race at Silverstone, leading Mercedes by 44 points, while Verstappen’s 182 points in the drivers' standings puts him 32 clear of Hamilton.

Coulthard, who is also the W Series Advisory Board Chairman, also said he believes Verstappen and his team have “extended” Hamilton’s F1 career.

“What I’ve observed, if you look at the last couple of races which he’s lost, he’s been much calmer and much more magnanimous in defeat than we’ve seen," Coulthard said ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix. “Sometimes when he was beaten by Nico when they were teammates, he would be a bit chippy, he would be a bit dummy in the dust and a bit spoiled child, multi-millionaire racing driver.

“I’ve not seen that. What I’ve seen is an elegance, I’ve seen a confidence, I’ve seen a different Lewis in this challenge. So therefore, I think that he is truly relishing the challenge. Of course he wants a title, who doesn’t? Of course he wants to win, who doesn’t? But he’s done so much winning.

“I think that the fact that he’s signed up for another two years, he is just so motivated by the challenge. I think that Max Verstappen and Red Bull this year have extended his career, I truly believe that, because if he doesn’t win it this year, I don’t think he’ll go off into the winter crying his heart out.

"I think he’ll go ‘you know what, as a team we didn’t deliver, how can we do better next year?’ I just think he’s such a pure-bred racer - the way he’s been brought up by his family, total focus, total dedication.

"I think he loves it, I truly do, and I think the fact that he’s not winning right now is extending his career.”

Read Also:

Coulthard also said it feels “feels a little bit like Mercedes have to deliver this weekend, it feels like Lewis has to deliver this weekend” after Verstappen won the past three races – one in France and the double-header in Austria.

“I’m really curious, because Toto obviously has a belief in the performance of the car," he said. “The team have done so much analysis and understanding of where their cars are performing well relative to the competition that they will have run the sims and will know reasonably accurately, taking out weather and various other factors and variables, where they can expect to perform.

“So it feels a little bit like Mercedes have to deliver this weekend, it feels like Lewis has to deliver this weekend, because Max, he’s not scared of anyone, he is a natural-born winner, he is on the crest of a wave right now, and he’s not going to be fazed by lots of Union Jacks.

“But I do think that Lewis is someone who does respond in a kind of Nigel Mansell way to home support and truly believes it can lift him.

“I think it’s a really important weekend for the championship.”

The third round of the 2021 W Series season at Silverstone is live on Channel 4 this Saturday from 12:05 GMT.

shares
comments

Related video

British GP "designed to feel like 2019" F1 race - Silverstone boss
Previous article

British GP "designed to feel like 2019" F1 race - Silverstone boss

Next article

Stroll: Being pushed around won't make Aston Martin F1 winners

Stroll: Being pushed around won't make Aston Martin F1 winners
Load comments
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021