Max Verstappen says he was not ‘changed’ by the intense 2021 title battle with Lewis Hamilton, and adds he prefers battling Charles Leclerc.
In a talk with Sky Italia, Max Verstappen was asked how the difficult and intense 2021 title battle with Lewis Hamilton had ‘changed him’.
“How did it change me? At the level of me as a person, not at all,” the Dutch driver said.
“If I look back to when I started, it was all new. Now, after years of experience, mistakes and positive things, I have learned a lot. I understand Formula 1 much better.
“However, you are never perfect – you can always learn and do better.”
Verstappen then said he prefers his current battle with Charles Leclerc, over last year’s battle with Hamilton.
“I prefer the current challenge with Charles over the past years with Lewis. I know Charles very well, he’s a good guy and we’re the same age.
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“We’re also fighting against a respectable opponent like Ferrari. If they win, we can congratulate them and if we win, they can do the same.
“We also know the people in their team well, even Mattia Binotto, who I have an excellent relationship with.
“And not just him, Gino Rosato is always around making jokes which I think is fantastic and the meaning of racing.
“Tough competition on the track, always trying to beat the opponent, but outside you can get along.
“That is what I really appreciate about the current season,” Max concluded.
It has to be noted that Verstappen entered the 2021 summer break eight points behind Hamilton, while this year he had (and still has) an 80 point lead over Leclerc.