Hamilton says Max relationship ‘no different for me’

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton speaking in a press conference. Austin October 2021

Lewis Hamilton leans forward with his arms on his knees while speaking in a press conference. Austin October 2021

Taking on Max Verstappen is arguably the fiercest title challenge seen in years, Lewis Hamilton says his relationship with the Red Bull driver is “no different” to last year.

Formula 1 is witnessing a battle for the ages this season as Hamilton and Verstappen trade blows, both in the title race and occasionally out on track.

While it was all smiles between the two at the start of the campaign, there have been a few biting comments of late with Hamilton saying he understands why Verstappen is feeling the pressure, and the Dutchman hitting back by saying he feels nothing of the sort.

Asked about his relationship with his title rival, Hamilton told the media in Austin: “Not a huge amount to say.

“There is limited communication, I think maybe some of the drivers hang more than others do.

“I wouldn’t say I particularly hang closely with anyone particularly here.

“Last year we would see each other at the track and we would say hi, we do the same this year.

“It’s no different for me, personally.”

With 16 races down and six to go, Hamilton is P2 in the Drivers’ standings, six points behind Verstappen.

The seven-time World Champion is predicted to regain the lead in a title race that is swinging back and forth at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton has won five races at the Circuit of the Americas with Verstappen only once even on the podium.

The Mercedes driver, though, acknowledges he needs more than just the Austin win to take the World title.

“It’s important to win every race somehow, you know, maximising our points – that’s our goal over these next six races,” he said.

“It’s going to be incredibly difficult and there will be moments where we can perhaps edge them [Red Bull] out.

“I don’t like to assume that Mexico is not going to be strong but they are usually very strong in Mexico.

“But yes, I think it’s going to be… a lot can happen in these six races, so I think we just take it one race at a time, give it everything we’ve got.”


Are we watching a season for the ages?

Round 17 of the World Championship is upon us. How will this one go?