Hamilton's rare insight into "psychological battle" with his F1 adversaries

Lewis Hamilton says he has “tried to make allies” with other F1 drivers as he gave a rare glimpse into the difficulties of maintaining relationships with his rivals.
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with Fernando Alonso (ESP)…

In the past the seven-time world champion often kept himself to himself in the F1 paddock. However, in recent years, Hamilton has been spotted engaging with his fellow competitors more than ever.

Hamilton has formed strong bonds with old title rival Sebastian Vettel, who retired from the sport at the end of last season, and enjoys a good relationship with new Mercedes teammate George Russell.

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He has also been spotted giving advice to some of F1’s younger drivers, including the likes of Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Mick Schumacher and Zhou Guanyu.

In contrast, Hamilton has endured famously tense relationships with the likes of Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, two of his fiercest F1 rivals.

Speaking on the On Purpose podcast, Hamilton provided an insight into the complicated “psychological battle” that drivers go through.

“The other drivers? We have more in common than we like to think,” Hamilton said.

“But we are so competitive. A lot of us have our defence.

“You want to beat the guy. You might like the guy outside of the car, but you can’t show that. It’s a psychological battle that we have.

“As an older driver I try to reach out to the youngsters because they are the future.

“None of them are black, they haven’t faced the same as me, but they have faced their own challenges. I have tried to make allies.

“A couple of them took the knee with me in 2020.”

Hamilton and Verstappen insist they respect each other but relations have been tested by several on-track collisions.

Meanwhile, Hamilton and Alonso had their most recent falling out after crashing at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Alonso labelled his former McLaren teammate an “idiot” who only knows how to race at the front.

Hamilton initially refused to speak to Alonso after being informed of his fellow multiple world champion’s comments, before the pair later made up when the Spaniard apologised to the Briton.

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