Lewis Hamilton concedes some days he and Max Verstappen “get it right” and “some days we get it wrong” as both are “ruthless” competitors.
Hamilton and Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel for last year’s World title in what was arguably one of the best seasons in Formula 1 in recent times.
It had a bit of everything on and off the track as the two traded P1s and paint, their season including two big crashes – Hamilton responsible for the British Grand Prix collision, and Verstappen blamed for their Italian one.
It began with a lot of respect and smiles, but the latter part of the season saw both drivers taking digs at the other.
The next chapter in their battle begins this weekend in Bahrain as the 2022 championship, and Verstappen’s title defence, kicks off under the lights at the Sakhir circuit.
But while the Briton is expecting another ferocious battle between the two, he says everything is “normal” when they see each other in the paddock.
This time next week we'll know who's on pole for the Bahrain GP! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/G2UgAsOqpL
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 12, 2022
“For me and Max, we’re seeing each other in the paddock, things are normal,” he told Sky Sports.
“We are two individual drivers who have a lot of common in the sense of how much we love doing what we do, driving.
“On the other side, we’re ruthless. He is ruthless, that’s how you have to be, I would imagine in business but hopefully with a bit of compassion.
“But we are fighters out there, there’s no friends on track.
“Some days we get it right, some days we get it wrong, but what’s important is when we get back out, we are human beings and we do keep respect.”
The Briton also spoke of the abuse he faced after the British Grand Prix collision.
Racing Verstappen for the lead, Hamilton made contact with the Red Bull driver’s rear wheel and sent Verstappen flying off the track and into the tyre barrier in what was a massive hit.
Hamilton went onto win the grand prix, celebrating as one does, but received a barrage of criticism for his actions with Mercedes accusing Red Bull of stoking the flames.
“There’s so many nice comments,” Hamilton said, “and then trolling and all these different things.
“If I had sat and read all the comments after Silverstone, the racial abuse. I could’ve downward spiralled into a negative space. I don’t let that volatile medium control my life.
“You have to be careful because the way the media hype up the drama creates a narrative to the fans.”
Hamilton: Things ‘normal’ with Max but both ‘ruthless’
Lewis Hamilton has claimed that things are normal between him and Max Verstappen.