Lewis Hamilton has praised Max Verstappen for his second consecutive podium at the British Grand Prix, describing the youngster as an increasing 'force to be reckoned with'.

The 18 year-old, who only joined Red Bull Racing ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, has quickly established himself as a consistent front runner, with podiums in Austria and Great Britain complementing his sensational victory in Barcelona.

Indeed, with Verstappen out-scoring all-but-Hamilton since the Spanish event, the Dutchman is now on the cusp of the fight for third in the overall standings heading into the second-half of the season, while his performances in the improving Red Bull have also caught the eye of title contender Hamilton.

"Max drove a fantastic race and is continuing to show he is a force to be reckoned with," the Mercedes driver said.

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"We knew Red Bull would be fast at Silverstone. In practice we don't know what fuel loads people are on and also if everyone is showing their hand. But I would say definitely today, I was never under threat from either of the guys behind and pace wise, what you will see, is those laps I don't need to do more.

However, despite the relatively close margin to the Nico Rosberg - who was later penalised - and Verstappen on the road, Hamilton feels Mercedes has the comfortable measure of the former title-winning team, adding he was preserving his engine in the closing stages of the Silverstone race.

"I already had a gap of six seconds, so there is no need to do more or less. And so every time they posted a time, I would hear about it and I would turn it up a little bit or turn it down. If I ever needed to turn it up, I had more to turn up in terms of pace.

"Going into the race, I think we had half a second or so to Red Bull. Whether or not it was half a second [I don't know], but we definitely had the pace against them."