Verstappen on Hamilton rivalry: ‘Move on and forgive’

Date published: October 23 2021 - Jon Wilde

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton thumbs up after Dutch GP qualifying. Zandvoort September 2021.

Max Verstappen says all is forgiven between he and Lewis Hamilton following their dramatic collisions at Silverstone and Monza.

The World Championship protagonists “got together”, in Verstappen’s own words, during the British and Italian Grands Prix with each adjudged to be at fault on one occasion apiece by the stewards.

Inevitably, those incidents appeared to put a strain on the relationship between the two drivers, with Verstappen not checking on Hamilton’s wellbeing at Monza, walking away as the seven-time champion remained in his car.

Hamilton said he had phoned the Dutchman after his 51G impact with the barrier at Silverstone to try and clear the air, but did not after Monza.

However, the Red Bull driver has insisted there is no lingering bad feeling between the duo, who could be set for another close battle in the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas.

Max Verstappen's Red Bull on top of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes at the Italian GP. Monza September 2021.

“We have got together a few times and we were not happy with each other,” said Verstappen in an interview with the PA news agency in Austin.

“But a few races later you can see us sitting together in a press conference and laughing with each other again, and that’s how racing goes.

“A lot of people look at you and rate the rivalry, but at the end of the day it’s not all that bad.

“Nobody looks to get together in a race but unfortunately these things happen. They have happened in go-karting and they have happened in Formula 1.

“We all have those times when we have low moments with someone, but we are human beings. We move on and we forgive.”

 

Verstappen also took issue with Timo Glock’s recent claim that a couple of years ago, when less mature, he would have turned the altercation physical out of the car.

After the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, Verstappen repeatedly pushed Esteban Ocon in the chest after the pair had collided on track and was ordered to serve two days of “public service” by way of punishment.

“I’ve got older and I have more experience, but I don’t necessarily think I would have punched Lewis,” said the 24-year-old.

“It’s just that you experience more things and you learn how to deal with the sport better – that’s just a natural process.

“I’ve been very relaxed the whole year. I can’t speak for Lewis but from my side, there is no real extra pressure.”