Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says he finds recent comments made by rival Max Verstappen “funny” and “a sign of weakness”.

Six-time world champion Hamilton has the chance to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 record of seven drivers’ world titles this season if he can successfully add to his current streak of three consecutive championship triumphs.

Verstappen and Red Bull are aiming to derail Hamilton’s quest of adding more silverware to his collection by mounting a serious title challenge in 2020. The Dutchman recently said Hamilton is “one of the best out there” but is “not god”

Asked about Verstappen’s quip ahead of getting his first taste of driving Mercedes’ W11 challenger at the team’s launch event at Silverstone, Hamilton replied: “I find it funny seeing that.

“I’ve always known to do my talking on the track. Often I tend to see that as a sign of weakness.”

Hamilton said he believes that Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and the “usual guys” will provide him with his main completion this season.

The 35-year-old Briton, who is embarking on his eighth season with Mercedes, insisted he is in a relaxed mindset ahead of the upcoming campaign, despite knowing what can be achieved.

“At this time of year you don’t really feel the pressure, it’s about having some fun,” Hamilton explained.

“You are focused but it’s really about enjoying the moment. The guys have worked so hard to put the car together and there’s only two of us that get to drive it, so it’s pretty incredible.

“This is my eight year at the team and the buzz is the same every year. Everyone couldn’t be more excited, enthusiastic, or driven.

“I would say the most impressive thing is that because we’ve had the success, it would be quite easy for them to be laid back.

“Everyone is super focused, there’s been so much work that’s been done in the background to make sure that today runs smoothly and I think everyone is excited at this stage, refreshed, revamped and ready for the challenge that is ahead.”

 

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