Verstappen on why he’s racing Leclerc differently to Hamilton

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

In 2022 Max Verstappen has been obviously less aggressive in his battles with Charles Leclerc, than he was in his 2021 scraps with Lewis Hamilton. He explains the difference.

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport Max Verstappen was asked if there are differences in his approach to racing Charles Leclerc as opposed to Lewis Hamilton.

“Every driver is different, in the way they attack or defend,” Verstappen said.

“That’s why you always have to go into the fight in a unique way. It feels natural to compete against drivers that I have competed against in the past in karts and have now come to F1.

“In particular Charles, it’s nice to see that we are two young guys competing for victories – we’ve fought some nice duels so far.

“I’m happy that my friend [Carlos] Sainz is now driving a competitive Ferrari, after we made our debut together in 2015.”

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The Dutch driver went on to explain how the conflict which has arisen between Mercedes and Red Bull in 2021 also played a role in how fierce his on-track battles with Hamilton became.

“I think in the fight between me and Hamilton, the conflict between Red Bull and Mercedes also played an important role.

“In addition to everything that happened during the championship, that also inspired the confrontation on the track.”

Max then revealed he has never been scared during their often dangerous on-track encounters.

“Things don’t work when you have fear. I never thought about the risk of hurting myself. I was only focused on winning. I knew very well what to do and I didn’t need help from others.

“The experience gained from the previous years in F1 made sure that the best Max emerged.”

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