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Jenson Button

Button: Verstappen is ready to take the fight to Hamilton

The 2009 world champion is backing Max Verstappen and Red Bull to push Lewis Hamilton all the way this season. In previous years, Hamilton has breezed his way to the title, but could this be his toughest fight yet to retain his prize?

Hamilton Verstappen
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To news overview © Mercedes

Jenson Button thinks that Max Verstappen is best placed to challenged Lewis Hamilton this season, ahead of what is shaping up to be a wonderful F1 world title duel.

Formula 1 pre-season testing hinted that Red Bull may just have the pace and reliability needed to rival Mercedes; who, by contrast, endured a frustrating few days in Bahrain.

This, alongside the indisputable talent that the Dutchman possesses, could be enough to give fans a title fight for the ages - according to Button.

"It's exactly what we want, to have Lewis up against Max. They are both extraordinary drivers. It's really exciting," Button wrote in Sky F1's season preview.

"Max, as always, is giving it his all, he's at the top of his game, and I think he's really going to take the fight to Lewis.

"Team-mates fighting for a championship is great but when it's drivers from different teams, it's the best. It's exactly what Formula 1 needs right now."

Teammates aside, Lewis Hamilton has only been involved in a serious title fight with Ferrari drivers in the past - namely Filipe Massa in 2008, and Sebastian Vettel in 2018.

If Red Bull can provide Verstappen with a car quick enough to rival the mighty Silver Arrows, the 36-year-old will have to deal with the biggest challenge to his crown for many years.

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