Max Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton would be ‘better for the sport’, claims David Coulthard

Max Verstappen (left) leads Lewis Hamilton by 19 points

David Coulthard believes that Max Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 Drivers’ Championship would be “better for” Formula One and potentially attract new viewers to the sport.

The Dutchman, seeking a first world title, and seven-time Drivers’ chHamilton are locked in one of the hardest-fought title battles in years.

Red Bull’s Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the standings to 19 points with victory at the Mexican Grand Prix.

There are four more races left on the F1 calendar in 2021.

And Coulthard, 13 times a Grand Prix winner, believes it would benefit the sport for Verstappen to maintain his lead.

“I think Max winning the championship would be better for the sport,” Coulthard told talkSPORT. “It would be a good little reset for Lewis as well to keep his motivation.

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“Both of them deserve it, so this isn’t a question of just one deserving it more or does one have a better car,”

“They are both exceptional athletes at the top of their game, two different parts of their careers. Lewis is 36 and Max is 24 – very different. Lewis is a seven time champion and Max is trying to get his first.

“In the end, when the helmet goes on and the visor closes, they are just racers and both able to perform better than anyone else currently.”

The season continues in Brazil this weekend at a São Paulo circuit where Hamilton has twice taken victory previously.

However Verstappen won the most recent edition in 2019 in a race at which the British driver received a time penalty that dropped him to seventh.

Coulthard thinks this could be a key race in deciding the eventual world champion.

“I think this is going to the wire. This is going to ebb and flow,” he continued, “[But] there’s a feeling that Lewis really needs to deliver this weekend. It is a circuit Max has been exceptional at and Red Bull have done well at in the past.

“[Hamilton] always says the eighth title doesn’t change anything for him and it certainly wouldn’t make his legacy any better.

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“He’s an exceptional driver and has earned that right. I look at some of the youngsters who come up to me who are gamers, Max is a gamer and they relate to him.

“The business of sport is about trying to capture new audiences and trying to bring those eyeballs to the track. I think Max will do that.”

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