Title fight between Hamilton & Verstappen toughest in F1 history
That is the view of Nico Rosberg, who retired immediately after beating his then Mercedes teammate Hamilton to the world championship in 2016.
Since then, seven time world champion Hamilton, 36, and his Mercedes team, have won every drivers' and constructors' title on offer.
But they may have met his match in 24-year-old Verstappen and the on-form Red Bull in 2021.
"For me, the cars are about the same, the drivers are about the same and they're both in a league of their own compared to everyone else," Rosberg told Sky Deutschland.
"Nobody else can keep up."
And German Rosberg, 36 and now a regular F1 television pundit, thinks the intensity of the battle will remain sky high all the way until the Abu Dhabi finale.
"It will be so close in these last few races, and I am convinced that a lot is going to happen in that time," he said.
"This duel cannot be topped. I can judge what kind of performance they are bringing, and it's at such a high level between those two drivers. Probably the highest level Formula 1 has ever seen.
"It's phenomenal, really. I have a lot of respect for it."
The final question, then, is obvious - will Hamilton wear an unprecedented eighth crown, or will Verstappen break through for his first title?
"Somehow I still tend to go with Lewis - because of his vast experience and because he usually always comes out on top in the end," Rosberg said.
"It's so difficult to beat him. But I also have to say just how gigantically Max is driving at the moment."
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