Hamilton reveals he failed to persuade Verstappen to ‘take the knee’

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says he tried to explain to Max Verstappen “about what Black Lives Matter meant and how much it would mean if he were to support that”, but “it didn’t make a difference”.

Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was asked about his controversial on-track battles with Max Verstappen, and if he expects their volatile encounters to continue.

“Most likely,” Hamilton said.

“I think I’ll adapt. You’ve seen in previous years that I try to avoid [contact] in scenarios.

“I’m sure we’ll grow, both sides will grow and improve hopefully so we don’t have experiences like we did in the last race, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.”

The Briton was then asked if he thinks Max is especially aggressive with him because he is the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time?

“I think yeah, you’re probably right,” Lewis replied with a smile.

“I remember when I first got to the sport and your target is the guy that has the most championships.

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“It was Fernando [Alonso], then it was Kimi [Raikkonen], because Kimi was one of the best drivers here, and then it was Seb [Vettel], so I think it’s natural.

“I don’t think there’s anything deeper in the background, because we’ve [Lewis and Max] never really had an in-depth conversation.”

Lewis then revealed he only had one “in-depth” conversation with Max, and it happened in 2020, when he tried to get Max’s to support the Black Lives Matter movement, by taking the knee before the races. Ultimately, Max chose not to do it.

“The only time we’ve had an in-depth conversation actually was when in 2020 in Austria when I went to him to speak to him about what Black Lives Matter meant and how much it would mean if he were to support that.

“I tried to explain what it feels like and why we were fighting, and what it’s about.

“Obviously, it didn’t make a difference,” Hamilton concluded.

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