Ahead of the weekend in Monaco, Hamilton claimed Verstappen ‘had a lot to prove’ in this year’s title fight.

The Dutchman refuted Hamilton’s comments immediately, saying: “I have nothing to prove.”

Verstappen went on to take a comfortable win in the principality, to take the lead of the drivers’ championship.

 

 

Conversely, Hamilton endured one of his most difficult weekends as a Mercedes driver, finishing in seventh.

Speaking in the post-race drivers’ press conference, Verstappen said he prefers to do the talking on the track.

“Well first of all, actions always speak louder than words,” Verstappen said. “I think that’s a good lesson after this weekend. You have to talk on the track, that’s what I like. We as a team so far have made the smallest mistakes, that’s why we are ahead. So I hope we can keep that going for the rest of the season.”

The Red Bull driver believes his management of the soft tyres and the fact he was able to cover Valtteri Bottas off at the start was crucial to his maiden win in Monaco.

“It’s been an amazing day,” Verstappen added. “It's very hard to pass around here in Monaco so you need to stay in your position at the start, so that’s what I tried to make sure. Once we had the lead into Turn 1, from there on we could manage the pace quite well and look after the tyres because around here, it’s all about keeping them alive basically and trying to go as long as you can to find the pit lap.

“I think Valtteri was struggling a bit at one point with his tyres and he had to pit. It always looks like it’s all going quite smooth but around here, keeping your concentration for so long is not easy. Overall, super happy to win here.”

Sergio Perez’s fourth-place finish means Red Bull leads the constructors’ championship - the first time Mercedes hasn’t since 2018.