Lewis Hamilton has more in common Max Verstappen than expected despite their epic feud for the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship title, both are ruthless says the seven-time World Champion.
History has it that Verstappen denied Hamilton an eighth F1 title with a last gasp effort, at the end of a contentious world title fight. Max, of course, won his first of what should be many and will carry the Number 1 plate this year for good measure.
Speaking to Sky F1, 37-year-old Hamilton said of his 24-year-old nemesis: “Me and Max, we see each other in the paddock, and things are normal. We’re two individual drivers.
“We have a lot of common in a sense of how much we love doing what we do and driving, then on the other side we’re ruthless. He is ruthless, so am I. We are fighters out there, there’s no friends on track. It’s like when you go skiing, there’s no friends out there.”
The pair stole headlines all year long as they struggled to for the same piece of tarmac and to avoid one another. Silverstone was a big one for Max while Monza was a close call that ended in bent metal. Saudi Arabia was hairy, as was Imola and most of the races last season in which they both finished on the podium.
Hamilton: I just don’t let that volatile medium control my life
Of the clashes with Verstappen, Hamilton is pragmatic: “Some days we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong, but what’s really important is that we’re human beings and that we do keep respect.”
Sant “respect” has been shown between the Verstappen and Hamilton fanboys, both camps vehemently batting for their drivers on the pretext that for Max fans the Dutchman can do no wrong and similarly Lewis fans cannot accept the Briton also has bad days.
All the toxicity of course occurs on social media where Hamilton has a massive following but has not been shy to switch off for months, as he did in the wake of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Hamilton said: “Of course, there’s so many nice comments and then there’s trolling, all these different things that people experience. If I had sat and read all the comments after Silverstone – the racial abuse – I could have downward spiralled to a negative place.
“I just don’t let that volatile medium control my life. You’ve got to be careful because obviously the way the media try to hype up the drama also creates a narrative for fans,” explained Hamilton.