Max Verstappen can “absolutely” break the Formula 1 win record before he retires, believes Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton has held the record for several years, as he jumped ahead of Michael Schumacher’s tally of 91 at the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.
Since then, Hamilton has extended his win total to 103 with his last race victory to date coming at the penultimate round of the 2021 campaign.
Verstappen currently sits on 40 grand prix wins, and has the opportunity this weekend in Montreal to tie Ayrton Senna’s tally.
Doing so would put him level in fifth place for the most grand prix victories of all time.
But despite not yet being halfway towards Hamilton’s impressive record, the seven-time World Champion says that Verstappen can reach the mark.
“He’s got a very long career ahead of him, so absolutely,” Hamilton said. “Ultimately records are there to be broken, and he’s got an amazing team.
“But as I said, we’ve got to work harder to try and continue to extend it.
“I hope we get to have some, at least within the last period of time in my career, I hope we get to have some more close racing.”
At the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton was presented with a helmet belonging to Senna after equalling the late Brazilian’s pole position record.
Hamilton has long hailed Senna as his racing hero and states it was an “honour” to surpass his career statistics.
“I don’t remember it. I really can’t remember off the top of my head, I’d have to see a video or something like that, I’ve got a bad memory,” he said.
“For me it was very surreal, being five years old, watching with my dad, and the dream was to be like Ayrton.
“And then the dream was to get to Formula 1 and do something like him. And then to find out you’re equalling in terms of results, ultimately, it’s unfair because there’s a lot more races in our time than there were back then. But still, it was a real honor.
“They gave me a helmet or something like that, a replica helmet, something like that. So that was very cool.
“Max has been doing an amazing job. He’s had such an incredible career so far. He’s for sure going to surpass that. Working on getting the car where it needs to be so we can slow him down.”