Ever since the 2021 season, 2X WDC Max Verstappen and 7X WDC Lewis Hamilton have had quite a history ever since the former has stepped up his game at Red Bull to contend for world titles. They have had a few heated moments on track involving 4 encounters in total. Lewis Hamilton has been driving for Mercedes since 2013 and Max Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull from Torro Rosso in 2016.
Recently, in an interview with Formula 1 Magazine, Hamilton said “you know how it is with Max” and that we’d have to “hold our breath” to get a clean fight with Verstappen. He reckons that he is seen as a target by Verstappen, Horner, and the whole of the Red Bull team.
He also said that whatever the commotion is, it is just “fairy tales” and that he respects Max Verstappen regardless if the feeling is mutual or not.
“He is a lot younger, so maybe he has a problem with me, but I am not sure about that and I actually assume not. Although I can’t speak for him.” Hamilton said.
Max Verstappen has also reciprocated this feeling of respect towards the British Driver, he told Daily Mail “I was always taught that you have to respect what people have achieved in sport. I have no problem with what Lewis has achieved. He is one of the best. I know it is not only the car he has been driving. That helps. We all know that, but you still have to beat your team-mate and Lewis has done that consistently.”
“I think you have to acknowledge the person has done an amazing job as well.” he added. The Dutchman also accepted that it is ‘satisfying’ to beat a driver like Lewis.
How did Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen rivalry start?
Lewis Hamilton after the 2021 season told Sky Sports that he and Max Verstappen “have a lot in common” and both of them are “ruthless” on track. He also hoped that the battles retain respect after the grueling 2021 season.
Abu Dhabi GP 2021 was the breakpoint as FIA’s Michael Masi intervened in the last lap after Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed and this allowed Verstappen (then on newer tires as compared to Hamilton) to overtake the 7X world champion to clutch the 2022 World Drivers’ Championship.
He also told Sky Sports that he has a lot in common with Max and “We are fighters out there, there are no friends on the track. It’s like when you go skiing, there are no friends out there.” Masi was fired after a major uproar against FIA’s intervention in the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.
The W13 gave Hamilton and George Russell no chance to outperform Red Bull’s RB18 at any point of the season. With the release of the 2023 car for Mercedes on the 15th of February and Red Bull’s cost cap breach in the previous season. Hamilton looks optimistically towards a successful 2023 season.
Discussion about this post