Hamilton says title battle with Verstappen is not the hardest ever

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says his close title battle with Max Verstappen is not the hardest he has ever fought, because in his career “there have been so many difficult moments”.

Lewis Hamilton now trails Max Verstappen in the championship standings by 12 points and each race is a hard-fought battle.

However, the Briton says he doesn’t consider this title fight to be the hardest one of his career.

“No, I wouldn’t say so,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“I was just thinking earlier on today about all the championships I’ve fought in since I was 10.

“And there have been so many difficult moments and they are all very similar in their own way, but all unique in their own way at the same time.”

Still, Hamilton does acknowledge it is a hard-fought season, with Mercedes making many mistakes along the way.

“It could be better in the sense we’ve dropped points, we’ve not always been perfect. But you live and learn.

“I feel like things have happened the way they have for a reason – we’ve learned a lot.”

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There have also been many close on-track encounters between Lewis and Max this year, some of them ending in a crash.

Lewis highlights the importance of finishing each race, and says sometimes it is not worth risking a DNF. As an example he mentioned his battle with Sergio Perez at the Turkish Grand Prix, that was fought cleanly and safely.

“You see me and Perez, I gave him so much space, maybe too much, but I finished the race, I got points and that’s what matters to me.”

The Briton says he has learned from the past in these situations, for example, at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix he slid into the pit lane gravel trap because of his worn-down tyres, a DNF that cost him the championship.

“In Turkey, for example, the pit-lane experience from 2007 helped me there. There are so many experiences from the past, even way before I got to Formula 1 that come in unconsciously and help me to make the decisions I make.

“And I still don’t get everything right, but that’s a part of the process and I don’t get held up by that.

“I just know I can be better tomorrow,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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