Lewis Hamilton hits back at Max Verstappen as Brit unveils Mercedes' 2020 F1 challenger
Hamilton romped to yet another stunning title triumph last year to move him to within just one title of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record tally of sevenby Irishmirror.ie
Lewis Hamilton has laughed off Max Verstappen's criticism - and reckons his rival's failure to recognise his Formula One achievements is a sign of weakness.
Hamilton, 35, romped to yet another stunning title triumph last year to move him to within just one title of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record tally of seven.
Indeed, a dominant Hamilton has won five of the last six drivers' championships and heads into the new season - which gets underway in Australia next month - as the favourite to win a record-equalling crown.
But Red Bull's Dutch star Verstappen, 22, recently appeared to claim that much of that success is down to Mercedes' ability to build championship-winning machinery - and not Hamilton.
However Hamilton, who was speaking as his Mercedes team unveiled their new car at Silverstone, has hit back and said: "I find it funny.
"I have always been known to do my talking on the track, so I tend to see that [criticism] as a sign of weakness."
Another talking point at Friday's low-key launch was Hamilton's future, with his current £40million-a-year contract with Mercedes expiring at the end of the season.
He has been linked with a stunning move to Ferrari in 2021, and the Italians confirmed last year that they have held informal talks with the British superstar.
But Hamilton has seemingly committed his long-term future to Mercedes.
He added: "It is a real privilege to be wanted to stay and to be part of a great team. That is a great feeling, and I hope I can continue to help to contribute to the team's success.
"Every year I am trying to improve, take a step up, refine the game and the mental approach. That is the real challenge.
"But I have a great team that I get to work with and every year we are extracting more from each other."
Hamilton drove his new machine during a shakedown run at Silverstone on Friday afternoon.
He will be back in action at next week's first three-day pre-season test in Barcelona, before he opens his championship defence in Melbourne on March 15.