‘Verstappen needs to temper aggression with respect’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has again blamed Max Verstappen’s aggression for their British GP clash, saying he has learned to temper his over the years.

Arriving at the Silverstone circuit needing to get his championship campaign back on track, Hamilton started his home race from second on the grid with his title rival on pole.

The Mercedes driver was quick to challenge Verstappen for the lead, the Red Bull driver unwilling to give an inch.

With the roar of the crowd as the backdrop, the two went wheel-to-wheel only for the battle to end when Hamilton tagged Verstappen through Copse corner.

Screaming through the gravel, Verstappen hit the barrier hard, leaving him winded and bruised and his RB16B completely destroyed.

It was not the first time this season the title rivals had fought for position, or even traded paint.

But while in their previous wheel-to-wheel battles it was Verstappen who had come out on top, this time he came off second best.

Pundits are divided as to whether that was because of a mistake from Hamilton or over-aggression from Verstappen.

Hamilton is hoping the hard lesson will at least result in more “space and respect” in their future tussles.

“I would like to think we should generally grow and learn from these experiences,” said the race winner.

“There’s never a… there’s rarely an incident that’s 100 per cent someone’s fault. It’s always a mixture because there are two people – or more, obviously – so I think there are things we can both learn.

“I would say Max is probably one of the most aggressive drivers here, just from my personal opinion. He does a great job, of course, but I think we have to really try to find the best balance we can on track with space and respect between one another so we can continue racing and have good races without colliding.”

Hamilton denied there was anything more behind Sunday’s battle than two drivers fighting over first place.

One of those, Verstappen, he says was just too aggressive about it.

“I think it’s a normal battle,” he said.

“I think I’ve generally…when I was younger, of course, I was probably as aggressive – maybe actually not as aggressive as Max is, but I was pretty aggressive as a youngster. And I think now, I’m a lot older now and I know it’s a marathon not a sprint and so I think I have a better view in how I approach my racing.

“But we’re in a battle and I think this year he has been very aggressive and most of the times I’ve had to concede and just avoid incident with him and live to fight later on in the race.

“As you saw on Saturday, once he’s out in the clear they’re too fast, so when an opportunity comes I’ve got to try and take it. That’s what we’re out there doing, and racing, and this one moment…

“I got a great exit out of Turn 7 and I was really happy with the dummy that I was able to go to the left and then go to the inside and get up that gap. Fortunately he wasn’t able to close it.

“But unfortunately, the aggression stayed from his side and we collided. It’s unfortunate.”

Hamilton’s eighth British GP win reduced his deficit in the title race to eight points.