Lewis Hamilton addresses Max Verstappen ‘hostility’ and gives secret relationship details

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton has insisted there’s no hostility between himself and Max Verstappen despite their intense Formula One rivalry. Both drivers are two of the best in the sport and are competing to win the F1 Drivers’ Championship this season, with the Brit currently in pole position to claim the prize.

After recently winning the Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton now sits top of the standings.

It has however not been plain sailing for the Brit so far, with Verstappen evolving into one of the best drivers on the grid and pushing to win the championship.

For the first time in years, Formula One fans are being treated to a close battle – with Hamilton usually having everything his own way.

And, on numerous occasions this season, things have threatened to boil over as their rivalry has intensified.

However, in an interview with ESPN, Hamilton has made it clear there’s no hostility between himself and Verstappen.

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And, what’s more, he also insists they’re civil to each other when they meet in private despite their on-track battles.

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“It’s difficult,” Hamilton said.

“When you are around people and you are in hostile scenarios, and when they are around you, they are one way with you and they are different when you are not around.

“I don’t hold any hostility against him. I feel he’s a tremendous talent and I’m enjoying racing with him.

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“Me and Max, when we have seen each other after the race, I have always tried to be respectful whether he is first or he’s behind me.

“I don’t feel like it’s changed.

“I always try to make sure I go over to him and it doesn’t feel any different to me.

“Do I agree with everything he does? It doesn’t even matter. All I can control is what I do and how I handle things.”

Verstappen and Hamilton have clashed several times this season.

Red Bull were enraged when Hamilton sent the Dutchman flying at the British Grand Prix, while they both ended up in the gravel at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month.

And Hamilton has revealed he had a phone call with Verstappen to clear the air after Silverstone, adding: “I called him after Silverstone, but again – I don’t mean to be patronising – but I’m much older.

“It was important for me to call and to be able to break the ice. I wouldn’t have been able to do that when I was 25.

“Of course, we sat in the stewards’ office the other day [in Monza] and it wasn’t hostile.

“He gave his point of view, and I gave my point of view.”

Hamilton doesn’t want the outcome of this year’s F1 title race to be decided by controversial on-track clashes, even if he’s gunning for more glory.

“I would never want to win in that way,” Hamilton continued.

“There’s never ever a question about that.

“If that means you don’t win at all, at least you have your dignity. I wouldn’t want to win any other way. You always want to win the right way.

“I love racing, I love fighting for the championship,” he continued. “At the end of the year that’s what I’ve been working for.

“You can’t say you wouldn’t be disappointed if you don’t achieve what you are trying to achieve with the group of people you are trying to achieve it with.

“[But] whatever happens, at the end of the year we will shake hands and be back to fight again next year.

“There are a lot of positives to take from this year, and I think hopefully there will be some more moving forward. It’s been a hell of a year!”

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