Edd Straw: “Clean racing is a powerful part of Hamilton’s psyche”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

F1 journalist Edd Straw says the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is “a clash of styles” and “two different philosophies of racing”.

In his Formula1.com column F1 journalist Edd Straw talked about the differences between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen when it comes to their approach to racing.

“A great sporting rivalry isn’t just about two brilliant athletes,” Straw wrote.

“You also require a clash of styles, some key points of difference in strategy. Even before the season, the fascinating question was whose approach in battle would pay off more often.

“While Hamilton’s incisive overtakes were part of what helped him make his name when he first burst onto the F1 scene in 2007, like all drivers he evolved over the years.

“A clear sense of what he believes constitutes clean racing is a powerful part of Hamilton’s psyche, even if Verstappen might disagree with that.

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“He also has an ability to calculate the risk/reward in battle when chasing a championship, meaning that, in recent times, he has often pulled out of potential clashes to ensure he can fight another day – but showed a willingness this year to deviate from that.

“Verstappen utilises an aggressive approach. It’s a description he dislikes but which accurately captures the perfectly legitimate strategy of going for every opportunity that presents itself.

“After all, usually it has worked for him, although perhaps what happened in Saudi Arabia showed that it can sometimes backfire.

“With two different philosophies of racing, the excitement lay in who would prevail and in exactly what circumstances would one or the other modify their approach,” Straw concluded.

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