Max Verstappen has suggested his F1 rival Lewis Hamilton enjoyed the benefit of “a bit of luck” on the way to his seven world titles.
That figure is one that can only be matched by the legendary Michael Schumacher, who won his last world title back in 2004 with Ferrari.
It gives Hamilton the right to claim to be the greatest driver the sport has ever seen, and he would have outstripped Schumacher’s total last year had it not been for that dramatic final lap in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen admits that he has a long way to go to match what Hamilton has achieved in F1, but took an indirect swipe at the Mercedes ace as he explained what he would need to have a chance of doing so.
“You need a bit of luck to fight for seven or eight [titles]. You need a very dominant team as well to do that so you don’t always have that luck or you are not in that era.
Verstappen begins his title defence in March, and will hope to take the next step on the way to matching some of Hamilton’s records if he can.
A stellar year for the Red Bull racer saw him reach 20 Grand Prix wins and 60 podiums, while he has qualified on pole 13 times overall.
Time is very much on Verstappen’s side, though, as he does not turn 25 until September while Hamilton is 37 and in the twilight of a trophy-laden career.