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Rosberg: Verstappen as close as ever to beat Hamilton

2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg says Max Verstappen is the favourite to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the World Championship.

Nico Rosberg says he hopes Red Bull can hit the ground running and force Mercedes to play catch-up in the 2021 World Championship. The 2016 World Champion, who defeated Hamilton to claim the title in that season, says that it would be good news for Formula 1 if the team are able to steal a march on Mercedes early in the championship. "I'm in love with our sport," Rosberg told Sky Sports F1 . "For our sport, it'd be the best thing ever if Red Bull hit the ground running and then the all powerful Mercedes had to chase them down and Lewis on the way to his eighth title." Rosberg said that he feels Max Verstappen has the best chance so far in his career of beating Lewis, but that he still reckons his former teammate will prevail by the end of the year. "It still has to go on Lewis because nobody can fathom someone actually beating Lewis throughout the entire season on points," said Rosberg. "So, the money would still have to go to Lewis." "But Max Verstappen, in particular, is as close as ever before in pre-season in terms of the odds to beat Lewis to the championship. "I don't think anyone's been that close for many, many years."

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