Hamilton enjoying duo battle
Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are extremely talented drivers and he is looking forward to battling with them.
Hamilton took the chequered flag in Hungary in the final race before the summer break to establish a 62-point lead at the top of the standings.
Mercedes dominated the early stages of the season but the gap has since closed with Red Bull impressing.
Verstappen has won two of the last four races in Austria and Germany and Leclerc's pace has improved to the point where he is challenging Sebastian Vettel.
And, with nine races of the season left, Hamilton expects more from the duo, and says he's looking forward to racing against them on track.
"We've seen a big step with Red Bull. They've really taken a leap forward with their [Honda] power unit this year and it's pretty great to see", Hamilton said to the official Formula 1 website.
"They're going to go from strength to strength and Max is naturally just... he's not a youngster necessarily in the sport anymore. While he's young, he's been here for a few years."
"Charles is only in his second season, so he's grown and I can only see him getting stronger and we're already seeing some great performances from him this season and that one is definitely one to watch out for.
"I hope it's close, and I hope it gets closer through the year. I'm always down, I'm always ready."
Dan McCarthy is a reporter who is very knowledgeable about football at all levels, and a keen Leeds United fan. He also follows darts, snooker, motorsport, and rugby league.