Lewis Hamilton warns Max Verstappen of ‘very thin line to walk’

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fist bump

Lewis Hamilton greets the Red Bull drivers at the 2024 photo call

Lewis Hamilton has warned Max Verstappen that he is walking a “very thin line” with his father Jos Verstappen’s involvement in his Formula 1 career.

After weeks of Red Bull speaking about unity in the face of the investigation into Christian Horner, Verstappen Sr exposed division within the ranks when he was caught on camera in a heated exchange with the Red Bull team boss.

‘But when business is involved, it makes it really difficult’

He subsequently went to two separate newspapers, the Daily Mail and De Telegraaf, to call for Horner’s resignation before Red Bull “explodes.”

The team have since put out a statement claiming there is no antagonism between the two camps. However, since the Bahrain weekend speculation has been rife.

Verstappen defended his father when asked if Jos regretted his statements.

“I have not asked him that,” said the triple World Champion, “but my dad, from how I know him in ­go‑­karting, is very outspoken and he is not a liar, that is for sure. My dad and I are very close. We call every day.”

Hamilton, whose early career was managed by his father Anthony, believes having a parent involved can create a “very difficult” situation.

“I think it is a very thin line to walk,” he said. “I think it’s also dependent on your relationship with your parent.

“You meet some people who have a great relationship with their parents, and they’ve been amazing parents, and then you’ve got people that have had bad relationships. And this is not necessarily parents that have been good to them.

“So I don’t know about his [Verstappen’s] relationships. Obviously, you hear things here and there. But Max is a grown man, and he’s a champion, and I’m sure he can make his own decisions.

“But I think in our world, as drivers, it’s very, very easy to be misled by people whispering in your ear, and perhaps not guiding you always the right way.

“I’m not saying it’s the case there, because they’re doing great.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Tension in F1 reaching boiling point as problems swirl at Red Bull and the FIA

The many milestones Max Verstappen can reach in F1 2024 season

“But I know in sports, other athletes that I’ve spoken to that I see, whether it’s in tennis, and I’ve experienced it, when you sometimes don’t have the right guidance around you, it leads to you either making the wrong decisions, or not being able to perhaps be the best at what you do.

“But that’s obviously clearly not the case there, he’s performing well. So it is very difficult, because you want your parent to be your parent, and have a good relationship. But when business is involved, it makes it really difficult.”

Asked about Jos’ comments about Horner, Hamilton replied: “I don’t know the details of it. So I don’t know what he’s basing these foundations off.

“But at the end of the day, he’s not a part of the team, he’s a parent. And so that’s just an opinion, but it’s definitely not helpful.”

Read next: Max Verstappen: It would be weird to be on opposite side to my dad