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2015-01-23 08:05

TITLE DEFENCE: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton says he will race even harder to defend his 2014 Formula 1 Drivers' title this year and the rookies reckon he'll win it again. Image: AP / Luca Bruno

LONDON, England - Toro Rosso's rookie Formula 1 drivers, when asked "Who is the best driver on the grid?" agreed there was only one.

Max Verstappen answered "Alonso", 2015 team mate Carlos Sainz jnr "(Alonso) Fernando, of course."

When it came to "Who will win the 2015 Drivers' title, they were equally unanimous, but this time it was... Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen was quoted by AS, a Spanish daily newspaper, as saying: "Hamilton.  The car he has is amazing."

Sainz was less verbose: "Hamilton, yes."


Verstappen is only 17 and his looming F1 debut has been controversial. He's only a year out of karts, doesn't even have a normal driving licence, but insisted: "When you're offered a chance to drive in F1, no matter your age, you must accept it.

"It could be a long time before you get another chance."

Their 2015 machine, the STR10, will be launched the day before the start of official testing at Jerez, which will start on Sunday, February 1.

"It's impossible to set goals," Sainz, 20, said at a sponsor's event, "without testing the car but Toro Rosso and I want to be in the points. Truth is that I don't know where we will be."

Sainz is the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 champion.

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