Red Bull’s Max Verstappen called Hamilton a “stupid idiot” over team radio after the two F1 championship rivals raced side by side down the main straight during second practice in the United States two weeks ago. 

Hamilton comments ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix appeared to be a thinly-veiled dig at Verstappen in response to the Dutchman’s recent remarks. 

“I think at the core of everything, there has to be respect,” Hamilton said when asked how he is avoiding making his title battle with Verstappen personal. 

“When I think about, and I hear the things that come out of drivers’ mouths, I do think about young kids. They are watching us and they are looking to us for inspiration and for guidance.

“There has been a lot of things that have been said, which is definitely not good for young kids that are watching. 

“For me, I just trying to remain positive and keep calm, and again, just be respectful to the drivers that I am fighting regardless. 

“If I have a name in my head of what I think they are, I don’t share that. But it’s pretty easy for me. You laugh it off, and you move forwards.”

Verstappen heads into the final five races of the season holding a 12-point championship lead over Hamilton, with a 133 points still left up for grabs.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton is eyeing a record eighth world title, while Verstappen - who is 12 years his junior - is fighting for his maiden F1 championship. 

“I have been here a long time, I learned a lot in my time,” Hamilton added. “And also, I know, Max has not won a championship in a long, long time.

“So I know what it’s like going for your first championship, particularly in the sport, I know the pressures that come with that, and so it’s nothing less than I expected from him.

“He’s still a youngster, and he’s going to be growing a huge amount over the next decade, which I think everyone will be excited to see. I just try and if I can, lead by example.

“Because as I said, I know that I have a lot of youngsters particularly that are racing, that are looking at what I do and what I say. And that’s important for me.”