Anthony Davidson believes the only driver who can challenge Max Verstappen in the 2023 title race is seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
The two drivers had one of the fiercest title battles in recent years last season, while this season it was with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the first few races of the current season.
The Dutchman has been almost untouchable in 2022, especially after Ferrari suffered several reliability issues and faulty strategies, which have seen him take a record 14 wins in the season so far.
On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton fell behind his biggest rival after 2021 because Mercedes entered the new era of Formula 1 with big problems on its W13 car.
As a result, the British driver, together with his team, are still looking for the first victory of the 2022 season, in which there are only two races left. Hamilton was therefore only a silent observer in the fight for the title.
However, ex-Formula 1 driver, turned expert commentator for Sky Sports, Anthony Davidson assures that Hamilton is the only driver who can compete with Verstappen.
“The only person I can see who can mount a serious challenge is Lewis Hamilton,” Davidson told Sky Sports News.
“[There are] a few names that I think were the greatest of all time and they only come up every once in a while.”
“Then it’s great to see the next one come along and set the benchmark and as one athlete gets older, the next one comes along.”
“But it’s never taken for granted and I don’t know who will be the next Max Verstappen to come and challenge him one day.”
“But Lewis at the moment, he’s definitely still good enough without a doubt and he’s the only one who can stand up to Max in the title fight,” he states.
Davidson points out that an athlete who is older loses his performance, but he does not see such a thing in the Mercedes driver and considers it the only advantage for Verstappen.
“The problem is that as an older athlete you begin to lose a bit of performance. It hasn’t happened with Lewis yet, but it’s inevitable at some point and that’s the advantage Max has,” he assures.
The Briton adds that Formula 1 is ‘cyclical’ in which many drivers reached their peak and then left, while he claims that the fight between Verstappen and Hamilton is not fair due to the age of the Dutchman.
“It’s a generational thing. I’ve seen that many times in the past in Formula 1,” he notes. “I saw drivers like Ayrton Senna coming, who replaced Alain Prost in that offer to see who is the best driver.”
“Then we saw that Michael Schumacher was coming. He replaced Senna and Senna got old and Lewis [Hamilton] appeared, he replaced Schumacher and now Verstappen is coming.”
“It’s not really a fair fight in many ways because Verstappen is 25 years old, almost 10 years younger than Lewis,” he points out.
“It’s a generational thing. It’s cyclical and it’s great to see new talent emerge because it doesn’t happen often,” concluded Anthony Davidson.