Lewis Hamilton in 2020 vs Max Verstappen in 2022: Who would have come out on top in this epic battle of heavyweights

If Lewis Hamilton in his 2020 form were to pick up a racing duel with Max Verstappen in 2022--who would be victorious? Read about our analysis of their performances to see who would come out on top.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton sharing one of their rare light hearted moments
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton sharing one of their rare light hearted moments

Fans of seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton believe the Briton is a rare talent that comes only once in a blue moon in the world of Formula 1. With a record number of fastest laps, race victories and pole positions, Lewis Hamilton is truly a legend in motorsports. And during his peak era from 2017 onwards, noone thought any racer would be able to surpass him in the WDC Standings as long as he kept at racing. And then came Max Verstappen–the young, flashy Red Bull recruit–the deserving son of former F1 racer Jos Verstappen.

Max and Lewis are poles apart in their mentalities and their racing styles. While the young Dutchman is more aggressive in his approach, the 37-year-old Mercedes racer is cold, calculated, and uses his vast experience to work through the grid and get to the top. But when it came to Max versus Lewis in last year’s 2021 World Championship, the Red Bull beast beat Hamilton. Despite that, it does not mean Lewis is in any way less of a Champion than Max. It only means their peaks came at different times.

If we compare Lewis of 2020–the Silver Arrow beast who hunted down his opponents and won the World Championship by a whopping 124-point difference from his nearest competitor–with Max of 2022–the Red Bull prodigy that made sure to destroy Ferrari’s early lead and is currently leading the Championship table with a 116 points advantage over Charles Leclerc–then, who might be the winner? That is a perplexing question, and we will try to answer that using our analysis.

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Lewis Hamilton at his peak v/s Max Verstappen at his peak–who is the better racer?

Max Verstappen(on the left) and Lewis Hamilton(on the right)
Max Verstappen(on the left) and Lewis Hamilton(on the right)

In 2020, Lewis Hamilton started off the season with a strong performance as he scored race victories in three of the first five Grands Prix which started off the Championship. But in Max’s case, his start to 2022 was not at all desirable, as he only had two massive retirements in the first five races. But indeed, those DNFs were because of Red Bull’s flawed system in the RB-18, and had nothing to do with the Dutchman. This can be said because in whichever race where he did not retire, Max Verstappen became the winner. Thus, in 2022, Max had 3 race wins in the first five races just like Hamilton did in 2020.

Now, moving to consistency of the results, it is observed that both Hamilton and Verstappen have lost out on the win at exactly four Grands Prix throughout the season . Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a very short-lived F1 calendar with just 15 races, and still Lewis Hamilton got 347 points because he only lost out on a win at 4 out of the fifteen races. Compared to that, Verstappen’s record shows almost same numbers in 2022 as he has also lost out on the chance of winning the race on four occasions till now.

But one factor that it all boils down to is that Max Verstappen is backed by the Red Bull strategy team–one of the best in the business, while Mercedes’ tactical team, which supports Lewis Hamilton is not as adept at adapting to the changeing track conditions as Red Bull is. Thus, if it were ever a duel between 2020’s Lewis Hamilton and 2022’s Max Verstappen, it would come down to the smallest of details which will cause one of them to win over the other.

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Riddhi Mondal is an F1 author at FirstSportz. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport. She is a proud McLaren fan who eagerly awaits the paddock's visit to Spa Francorchamps and hopes to attend the Monaco GP one day. A student of medicine, whenever she's not fawning over Daniel Ricciardo or rooting for Max Verstappen to become the next World Champion, Riddhi's either busy reading thrillers, debating, or playing with her six feline friends.