Max Verstappen dismisses Hamilton rivalry in favour of Leclerc

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Max Verstappen dismissed his 2021 title rivalry with Lewis Hamilton in favour of his current battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

When asked about his 2021 title rivalry with Lewis Hamilton, compared to his current rivalry with Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen basically dismissed the fight with Hamilton and started to sing praises to Leclerc and Ferrari.

“I prefer what we have now because, first of all, Charles I know very well, he’s a nice guy, we are a similar age – I think we are only three weeks apart,” he told Sky Italia.

“I think also we are fighting a very well-respected competitor in terms of Ferrari. The way they go about the way we are fighting… When they win a race we can go to them and say well done, and when we win a race they can say well done, and I really respect that.”

“Also, certain people within the team, even Mattia, I have a really good relationship with him.

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“On Saturday night, we even had a laugh in Paul Ricard, and I think that’s great because that’s what racing should be about.

“We are hard competitors on the track and we will always try to beat each other, which I think is very normal, but outside of it you can have a good time as well, and that’s what I really enjoy about this year.

“Let’s say it like this, I would not be on a table on Saturday night having a laugh with [Mercedes].”

Asked why the relationship is so different today compared to 2021, he said:

“Just the click we have at the moment with the team, and I have a lot of respect for Ferrari in general.”

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