Hamilton wants to keep ‘respect’ intact with Verstappen after Britain F1 clash

Lewis Hamilton is hopeful that he and Max Verstappen can continue to race wheel-to-wheel in Formula 1 with ‘respect’, despite their clash at the British Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG…
© xpbimages.com

For the first time in 2021, the F1’s two title rivals came to blows on the opening lap at Silverstone when Hamilton attempted to overtake Verstappen into the fast right-hander of Copse.

Verstappen was sent into the barrier, while Hamilton went on to win his eighth British Grand Prix, even though he had to serve a 10-second time penalty at his pit stop. 

With tensions likely to be high at next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton a ‘balance’ in terms of space given and respect on track.

“I would like to think that we should generally grow and learn from these experiences,” Hamilton said in the post-race press conference. “There’s never a… there’s rarely an incident that’s 100% someone’s fault. It’s always a mixture because there are two people – or more obviously – so I think there’s things that we can both learn. 

“I would say that Max is probably one of the most aggressive drivers here – just from my personal opinion – he does a great job of course – but I think we have to really try to find the best balance we can on track with space and respect between one another so that we can continue racing and have good races without colliding.”

Hamilton believes Verstappen is more aggressive than he was in his McLaren days and the pair’s varying degrees of experience impacts their philosophies when battling wheel-to-wheel.

“I think it’s a normal battle,” Hamilton added. “I think I’ve generally… when I was younger, of course, I was probably as aggressive – maybe actually not as aggressive as Max is, but I was pretty aggressive as a youngster – and I think now, I’m a lot older now and I know it’s a marathon not a sprint and so I think I have a better view in how I approach my racing. 

“But we’re in a battle and I think this year he has been very aggressive and most of the times I’ve had to concede and just avoid incident with him and live to fight on later on in the race. As you saw yesterday, once he’s out in the clear, they’re too fast so when an opportunity comes, I’ve got to try and take it, that’s what we’re out there doing, and racing, and this one moment, I got a great exit out of Turn 7 and I was really happy with the dummy that I was able to go to the left and then go to the inside and get up that gap. 

“Fortunately he wasn’t able to close it. But unfortunately the aggression stayed from his side and we collided.”

Read More