Lewis Hamilton told of ‘disadvantage’ against Max Verstappen amid Mercedes contract talks

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Lewis Hamilton has been told of the disadvantage he has against Max Verstappen as he negotiates renewed terms with Mercedes. Hamilton became a seven-time F1 world champion last season to match the great Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton has yet to sign a new contract with the Silver Arrows with negotiations ongoing.

Former F1 driver Jan Lammers is hoping for a closer battle in 2021 between Hamilton and Red Bull star Max Verstappen.

Mercedes dominated last season with the Brit becoming a seven-time champion easily.

His closest challenger and team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished over 100 points behind underlining the dominance of Hamilton.

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“Of course I hope for a titanic battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in Formula 1 this year”, Lammers told De Telegraaf.

“Has Red Bull Racing taken a step in the right direction, or are Mercedes’ progress once again unparalleled?”

Lammers also believes Hamilton’s reputation is disadvantaged because of how good the Mercedes car has been for so many years.

He added: “His ‘disadvantage’ is that he has been driving the best car for years, so the viewer has a somewhat distorted view when you talk about his talent.”

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Hamilton will be knighted after matching the great Schumacher and he will look to break the record this season.

His biggest challenger is once again likely to be Bottas with the regulations staying largely the same.

Meanwhile, David Coulthard has opened up on F1 contract negotiations and what might be holding up the deal.

“As to why there isn’t an announcement regarding Lewis, it could be a number of reasons,” he told Express Sport.

“It could be that Mercedes feel they have gotten all of the value they are going to get out of Lewis Hamilton.

“Lewis Hamilton breaking the Championship record this year, does that serve Lewis or does it serve Mercedes more?

“If it serves Lewis more being an eight-time world champion then there’s nothing really in it for Mercedes.

“If it serves Mercedes more then it doesn’t really bother Lewis because he still gets an eighth title.

“Business is business. Nobody just gives money away because somebody is nice or somebody is good at what they’re doing. There has to be an agreement on what the perceived value is.”

The 2021 F1 season starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 28.

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