Lewis Hamilton explains his approach to racing Max Verstappen

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says he is “more wary than ever before” when racing Verstappen, and wants to “avoid a collision at all costs”.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have had several crashes and close situations this season. Taking this into consideration, in a recent interview with selected media, Lewis was asked how he approaches racing Verstappen.

“You just have to be very, very wary,” said the Briton.

“More wary than ever before. Rather than giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you have to know that’s what’s going to happen.

“You always have to be ready to avoid a collision at all costs, [even] if it means going wide, because at the end of the day you want to see the end of the race, right?

“If you’re stubborn and you hold your ground, you’re going to crash. So that’s what I’ve just tried to do. I’ve tried to make sure I avoid the collision.

“I think I’ve been pretty decent at it in most scenarios. You can’t always get it perfect, but then there’s other drivers you drive with who are aggressive and respectful in different ways.

“But he’s not the only driver I’ve raced against that’s like this. I’ve raced so many drivers in my time and they’ve all been very different in the way they behave.

“And it’s interesting. Now I’m older, I look a little bit deeper into their character and a bit of their background, upbringing.


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“Our upbringing is why we act out the way we do and behave the way we do, good or bad. So I try to understand those, so I can have more appreciation of who that character is I am racing with.”

However, Hamilton says he doesn’t hold any ill feelings towards Verstappen, and there are no hostilities off the track between the two.

“Look, I’ve raced against people who’ve shown something on one face, but actually it’s something different.

“I’m 36, I’ve been doing this a long time, so it’s not the first time I’ve been faced with a driver that’s been good and bad in certain ways.

“I think I’m in just a much better position to be able to handle that, to deal with that. Particularly in the limelight and the pressures of the sport.

“I know that he’s a super-fast guy, and he’s going to get stronger and stronger as he matures over time: which he will no doubt do.

“Look at myself when I was 24 or 25. Jeez, the mistakes I was making back then. I had the speed, but I was going through a lot of different experiences outside the car and also being in the limelight, the pressures of being at the front.

“I don’t think I did much right then, so I don’t hold that against anybody,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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