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History repeats as Hamilton dominance challenged - Lauda

History repeats as Hamilton dominance challenged - Lauda
© Reuters
Lewis Hamilton may have reached the point in a great Formula 1 driver's career when a younger rival threatens his status as the best on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton may have reached the point in a great Formula 1 driver's career when a younger rival threatens his status as the best on the grid.

"It was the same with Prost against my father," Mathias Lauda, whose father was the great triple world champion and F1 legend Niki Lauda, told Servus TV.

Austrian Mathias Lauda, 40, is a racing driver himself, so he is well positioned to opine that Hamilton's mantle as the dominance force in Formula 1 is now being clearly challenged by new championship leader Max Verstappen.

Continuing his comparison, Lauda said: "After (Alain) Prost and my father, it was then Senna who challenged Prost. Senna was the young up-and-coming driver. And then it was Michael Schumacher against Senna."

Lauda said he respects Hamilton's record-breaking achievements, including 98 wins and equalling Schumacher's all-time record of seven titles.

But he said: "Verstappen is so confident now and makes no mistakes. He always gets the most out of the equipment he has and is clearly faster than his teammate."

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Saturday's key events

· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

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