Max Verstappen insists Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes CAN challenge for the F1 title this season… despite the Dutch star being clear favourite after Red Bull’s dominant pre-season

Max Verstappen has claimed Lewis Hamilton could be a genuine Formula One title rival this season. That dominance continued in pre-season testing, with Christian Horner’s team the clear front-runners to retain their title – but Verstappen insisted Mercedes rivals Hamilton and George Russell may prove tough challengers. On the eve of the new season, he said: ‘I don’t count out Lewis and Mercedes. Mercedes’ W14 car this season has fixed the porpoising issue but is still expected to be off the pace compared to the Red Bulls – with Verstappen expected to hold a half-second-per-lap advantage over the whole grid.

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