Sat. Oct 16th, 2021


Lewis Hamilton addresses Max Verstappen crash, his approach going forward and why the pressure of a first title fight may well be getting to his young rival; Watch Russian GP live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Last Updated: 23/09/21 1:12pm

Lewis Hamilton doesn't think Max Verstappen's penalty will be a deterrent to stop collisions in the future

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Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think Max Verstappen’s penalty will be a deterrent to stop collisions in the future

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think Max Verstappen’s penalty will be a deterrent to stop collisions in the future

Lewis Hamilton has stressed the need for himself and Max Verstappen to “learn from the past” and avoid more collisions as the Englishman opened up about his approach, while also admitting that he wonders whether his rival is racing differently because of the “pressure” of a first title fight.

Hamilton is gearing up for another battle with Verstappen this weekend as the championship run-in intensifies at the Russian GP, and spoke to the media eleven days on from their latest crash at Monza – where the Red Bull car dramatically ended up on top of the Mercedes in the gravel.

With Verstappen taking a three-place grid penalty this weekend, the title rivals have now each been penalised for collisions this season.

Hamilton told Sky F1 that the penalty was “unlikely” to be a deterrent for Verstappen but, eager to avoid a repeat, said: “Ultimately we all have to be smart, and know that there is a time you are not going to make the corner.

Max Verstappen moved alongside Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop and the pair collide at the first chicane, causing both to be beached in the gravel!

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Max Verstappen moved alongside Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop and the pair collide at the first chicane, causing both to be beached in the gravel!

Max Verstappen moved alongside Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop and the pair collide at the first chicane, causing both to be beached in the gravel!

“It’s all about that you get to live to fight another day for the next corner. Naturally through experience you find that it’s not all won in one corner. I’m hopeful we won’t have any more incidents through the year.”

But while Hamilton said that he has “no doubts that we will both be professional and learn from the past”, he admitted he is not expecting Verstappen to suddenly give way in wheel-to-wheel battles.

“He’s never done it in the past so I don’t expect it to happen,” Hamilton told Craig Slater. “And I think that’s the way I will approach things, not expecting it, and just try to create the space that’s needed.

“I’m sure he will and we will continue to learn.”

Hamilton then added: “I know what it’s like fighting for your first championship, there’s a lot going on and there’s a lot riding on it also.”

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially season-defining moment when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix

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Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially season-defining moment when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially season-defining moment when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix

Why Hamilton ’empathises’ with Verstappen in the title fight

While it is 23-year-old Verstappen’s seventh F1 season, it is his first where he is a genuine contender for the championship. Hamilton, who was 22 when he first battled for the title as a rookie in 2007, said he empathised with Verstappen and hinted that he was racing differently whele-to-wheel because of the pressure involved.

“I know the pressure that comes with it and the experiences that go with it,” Hamilton explained. “Your eagerness… you go through lots of different experiences and emotions during that time.”

He continued: “He won’t admit to it and I’m not going to make an assumption, I’m just saying that I remember what it was like when I had my first one and it definitely mounted up.

“It was difficult, it was intense, I was going through a lot of different emotions, I didn’t always handle it the best. That’s to be expected, you know, it’s a lot of pressure when you are working in a big team, there’s a lot of self expectation and the desire to win is huge. I empathise and understand that. I know we will continue to grow from this.”

Hamilton, in his 15th F1 season and looking for a record-breaking eighth crown, said that the pressure was “a lot easier to handle now”.

“I’ve been here a long time, so it’s that much easier to deal with,” he said. “My first year, I was very young and didn’t have the tools to handle the sort of pressure that was put on me. it’s a lot different for me [now]”.

More to follow…





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