F1 2018: Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen can be a title contender
Hamilton tells Sky Sports that F1's "brightest young star" Verstappen will be a force to be reckoned with in 2018
Last Updated: 03/01/18 11:35am
Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen can be a title contender in 2018 - and admitted he wants McLaren and Fernando Alonso to return to the front of F1.
Hamilton overcame Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to win the 2017 championship but was twice beaten in the final races of the season by Verstappen.
"He can be a title contender," Hamilton told Sky Sports News. "His abilities at the core are fantastic and we've all seen that come to light with the great car he's racing in and the great team he's racing in."
Hamilton v Verstappen is something to savour. Hope that movie runs for a long time.— Martin Brundle (@MBrundleF1) October 8, 2017
Hamilton has previously predicted he will have "to raise the game another level in order to stay ahead" of 20-year-old Verstappen.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner has described Verstappen as "a champion in waiting", with Hamilton adding: "He's really the brightest young star that we've seen for some time."
McLaren, meanwhile, will be powered by Renault this season after divorcing from Honda.
Inspired by the form of Verstappen's Red Bull, who are also powered by Renault and claimed three victories in 2017, the 20-time world champions are confident they can return to the sharp end of the grid this year and challenge for their first win since 2012 - the year Hamilton departed for Mercedes. and are confident they will be able to challenge for wins
"I'm hoping McLaren with the new engine on board can hopefully rise from the drought and come back into a positive light and be the great team they are," Hamilton said.
"Myself, Sebastian and Fernando… that's what's on the top of my mind."
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