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Lewis Hamilton

Brundle advises Hamilton to 'play Verstappen at his own game'

Lewis Hamilton may have to change his driving style in order to beat Max Verstappen, according to F1 pundit Martin Brundle.

Verstappen Hamilton Imola
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Martin Brundle believes that Lewis Hamilton will have to "play Max Verstappen at his own game" if he is to beat the Red Bull driver in 2022.

Verstappen has become known for his aggressive style behind the wheel, and Brundle thinks that this is ultimately what helped the Dutchman to clinch the title following his season-long duel with Hamilton in 2021.

As such, the former F1 driver struggles to see others getting ahead of Verstappen if they do not adapt to a similar driving style.

"I think Lewis will come back with more determination than ever, and I think he's going to have to get his elbows out with Max," Brundle told Sky Sports.

"In the end, Max's aggressive driving won him the world championship as far as I'm concerned.

"Everybody is going to have to play Max at his own game if they want to beat him. Mercedes and Lewis will be energised by that, but they're going to have to go racing in a different and more aggressive way and play the same game – because Max isn't going to change."

Can Mercedes overcome their testing struggles?

Mercedes looked to be struggling in the recent Bahrain pre-season test more than their rivals, leading many onlookers to tip Red Bull and Ferrari as the ones to beat during the upcoming campaign.

Whilst Brundle thinks that things may not be as bad as they looked for the Silver Arrows, he still expects them to be slightly behind their competitors in the battle at the front.

"I'm pretty certain Mercedes were sandbagging, but the car looked a bit of a handful, so I can't help but think it's Red Bull from Ferrari," Brundle said.

"The Red Bull just on raw pace, while the Ferrari looked very benign and very driveable, which might come in extremely handy on race day.

"I think Mercedes will be very close to them."

Brundle expects a three-way title fight in 2022

With Mercedes remaining in the fight despite their difficulties with issues such as porpoising in testing, Brundle could see a three-way battle for the championship unfolding.

"It does seem like we might have a three-way fight this year," he added.

"Ferrari, having not been in the title fight last year - and I think the same with McLaren, too, actually - have benefitted. But then Red Bull appear to have aced the aero a little bit better for now.

"But let's see what Mercedes do when it matters. I'm confident to say they haven't got it right yet, but you do know that they will be there or thereabouts.

"With what we've seen, the Mercedes was porpoising perhaps as bad as any team when they lowered the car, but that's the kind of thing you can fix, and they might just fix it straight away."

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