Lewis Hamilton: “I’ve had to back out of certain scenarios with Max”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says he has backed out of “certain scenarios” with Max Verstappen, because otherwise he would risk crashing, and then he’d think: “I’ll beat him in another way”.

There have been several close situations on the track between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in 2021. In most of those situations, Lewis chose to back out in order to avoid a crash.

On two occasion when he didn’t back out, at Silverstone and Monza, the two drivers crashed. In an interview with ESPN, Lewis said he is picking his battles with the young Dutchman.

“Yes, I’ve had to back out of certain scenarios with Max because otherwise we are going to crash, and I’m just like, I’ll beat him in another way,” the Briton said.

“I think: if I can just survive this corner I will challenge and fight him another way, stay close, use strategy and all these different things.

“But that comes with experience and I really do hope that that pays dividends at the end of the year, but of course you have just got to find the right balance. That’s really what I’m just trying to do.”

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Lewis added he has previous experience when it comes to tough on-track competitors.

“Max is not the first person. I’ve always had a target on my back. I’ve always been at the front since I was young. I had No.1 on my car for many years even before I got to Formula One.

“Even Alonso would never give up. So I’ve raced against a lot of drivers that do that. Some are smarter than others and I know that, again, there’s other corners and it’s a marathon not a sprint.

“Some drivers are right to the point of it being not right and then are able to control it, and some don’t. I guess the most important thing is to make sure we stay safe.

“Because at the end of the day with all this excitement and this championship, the one thing we want to see at the end of the year is people going home to their families and having a good winter,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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