Lewis Hamilton: Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc as good as Brit in key F1 discipline

F1: Lewis Hamilton extends Mercedes contract

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Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc all have particularly good tyre management, according to Pirelli boss Mario Isola. Verstappen added two more race wins to his career tally in the 2020 season, whereas Hamilton joined Michael Schumacher on a record-equalling seven world championship victories.

Leclerc failed to win a race at Ferrari last season but Isola has picked the Monegasque driver as one of his top three drivers at keeping their tyres in good order.

Isola gave particular praise to Red Bull’s Verstappen, who he thinks has shown “great skills” in the area for a number of years.

“Every driver has his own driving style, but we are talking about the 20 best drivers in the world,” Isola told RacingNews365.

“It is clear that they have great skills, but the car is an important tool in making the tyres last longer.

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“A driver can make the difference if he knows exactly how far he can push the tyre.

“Max is a great driver in that respect, and Lewis for sure, but Charles is also very good at tyre management.

“I was impressed by Max in Brazil a few years ago [in 2016]. His performance on a wet track was great.

“The conditions were the same for everyone, but he drove unbelievably well.

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“Maybe the Red Bull car was suited to wet weather, but what he did was incredible regardless.”

All three drivers will remain with their respective teams for the 2021 season.

Leclerc will be joined by Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, replacing Sebastien Vettel.

Sergio Perez has teamed up with Verstappen at Red Bull, replacing Alex Albon.

Meanwhile, Hamilton signed a new one-year contract with Mercedes last week as he attempts to win a record-breaking eighth world championship.

The 36-year-old took longer than expected to agree a new deal with the Silver Arrows.

And former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos still does not think Hamilton got everything he wanted in the contract.

“Both sides have had to compromise anyway,” Doornbos told motorsport.com.

“I think Mercedes ultimately held their ground and Hamilton didn’t get everything he wanted.

“I think Hamilton wanted to sign for a longer period of time and had to compromise on that point.”

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