Hamilton became a four-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion earlier this year, drawing level with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the all-time list.
Former Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde believes that his Dutch compatriot Max Verstappen can beat Lewis Hamilton to the title in 2018.
Max Verstappen developed as both a person and a driver in 2017.
“Hamilton is of course a really good driver, we have seen it again this year,” Van der Garde told Formule 1 .
“But I think Max can handle Hamilton.”
Van der Garde said he thinks Verstappen is therefore ready to take on Lewis Hamilton for the title.
“I think Max grew a lot as a person, because he had to deal with all those disappointments on the track.”
“It has been a tough year for him mentally, but he also knows he can do nothing about it,” van der Garde agreed.
“It was a pity that the Red Bull was not competitive enough and we could not really see what Max had .
“During the second half of the season, Max had a good car again,” he continued. “He started winning again from scratch. Then you, of course, enjoy yourself as a Dutch person.”
He suggested that the way Verstappen had bounced back to clinch wins in Malaysia and Mexico was proof of how much Verstappen had developed.
“As a driver he is, I think, also grown considerably.”
Verstappen has been talked up as one of F1’s brightest prospects and is tipped to beat Sebastian Vettel’s record to become the youngest ever champion.
His talent saw him secure two race wins this year and he’s since been rewarded with a contract extension to tie him down until 2022.