Hamilton became a four-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion earlier this year, drawing level with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the all-time list.
The Brit lost out to Nico Rosberg 12 months ago in one of his most competitive seasons but Verstappen has now been backed to give the four-time champion a real run for his money in 2018.
Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen can win 2018 championship 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.
Verstappen burst onto the scene in 2015 by becoming the youngest ever F1 driver at the age of 17.
“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 has previously predicted he will have “to raise the game another level in order to stay ahead” of 20-year-old Verstappen.
And that means the duo will get the chance to battle it out in F1 for a few years at least.
Hamilton will be looking to get his title defense off to the best possible start when the 2018 campaign kicks off in Australia next March.