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It’s only round five of the championship, but 1996 world champion Damon Hill reckons Max Verstappen is already getting the sense the title is slipping away from him.
The Red Bull driver sits 14 points behind Lewis Hamilton after the first four rounds, with one win to his name to the Britons three, however there are still 19 races left in the season.
However after a string of mistakes has followed the Dutchman so far this term, Hill believes he would’ve been much closer to Hamilton, had errors not happened from both driver and team.
“I think they looked a little bit flat footed [Red Bull and Verstappen],” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.
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“And they will be really hard on themselves, as they always are now, but I mean, I was quite surprised, a little bit surprised by Max’s equilibrium.
“He seems either like he’s putting a very good act on it, or underneath he is extremely upset because I think he knows the clock is ticking. He knows this is a slim chance. But it’s a chance for a championship, and it’s slipping away already.”
Hamilton comes into the season with seven world titles to his name, six which were won alongside Mercedes, and is looking to cement his name in the record books as the most succesful driver this season if he wins one more.
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The only man to have beaten Hamilton to the title in the dominating Mercedes era was his team-mate Nico Rosberg back in 2016.
And Hill believes Verstappen needs to up his game to really get under Hamilton’s skin if he’s to win the title.
“It made me think about how Nico beat Lewis and the only way Nico beat Lewis was to needle him and make life unpleasant. And Lewis doesn’t like that. He likes everything to be nice and sweet,” Hill added.
“I think Lewis is a lot tougher and more experienced now but I think that Max [Verstappen] doesn’t look to me like he’s he’s playing games out of the car.”
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