Former F1 World Champion Damon Hill believes Max Verstappen’s “scary” speed has promoted the Red Bull driver past Lewis Hamilton as the fastest driver on the grid.
Verstappen has been dominant in the sport this season, with six victories from eight races helping to build up a 69-point lead.
The margin to teammate Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s advantage over the rest of the field points to Verstappen’s third world title being wrapped up already, despite there being 14 races left to run.
Yet with the disparity between different cars, arguments have still been made to suggest Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are at least on a par with the Dutchman.
Speaking to the Beyond the Grid podcast, 1996 champion Hill said: “Right now for pace, I would say Verstappen [is best], for sheer one-lappery.
“He has got that [Ayrton] Senna-esque, scary, on-the-edge speed. I know that Lewis has that too but Lewis is that tiny bit more [Alain] Prost-like, a little bit more neat and tidy.
“It is just that willingness that Max has to go into the danger zone, that’s the scary bit.”
But suggesting Mercedes driver Hamilton has the benefit of experience in knowing how far to push the limits, Hill added: “It is not circumspection or caution, it is just learning there is that risk-reward factor.
“I think Lewis is able to do it, it is there. It is not a big difference, it is very close.
“If you put them together in 10 races, maybe Lewis would come out ahead and maybe Max would clout the wall or something in two or three of those events because he would want to beat Lewis so much, he would overdo it.”
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