Lewis Hamilton feels Max Verstappen ‘has a problem’ and is unsure if F1 rival respects him | F1 | Sport
Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen “has a problem” with him despite the seven-time champion admitting he “respects” the Dutchman. The Mercedes star admitted the Red Bull star could have an issue with him due to the age difference between the pair.
However, Hamilton added he “assumed” there wasn’t any bad tension ahead of the new season. He stressed claims of a fall-out between the pair after the controversial Abu Dhabi season finale in 2021 were just “fairytales”.
Speaking to Formule 1 Magazine, Hamilton said: “People like to talk about there being problems between Max and me. I respect him. He is a lot younger, so maybe he has a problem with me. But I am not sure about that and I actually assume not. Although I can’t speak for him.”
The pair were embroiled in a tense championship battle in 2021 with three major on-track clashes. The season ended in controversial circumstances with Hamilton losing the title on the final lap of the last race.
READ MORE: Toto Wolff labels Christian Horner ‘obsessed’ with huge swipe at rival
“I have no problem with what Lewis has achieved. He is one of the best ever. I know it is not only the car he has been driving. That helps.” Hamilton’s latest comments also come months after Red Bull boss Christian Horner suggested Hamilton has never praised Verstappen.
Horner added that Hamilton was shaken by Verstappen who had “nothing to lose” in comparison to the F1 legend. He explained: “I have never once heard Lewis recognise Max’s ability so, of course, there was just a little more needle to it. You could see that and sense that between those two drivers.
“I think [Verstappen was in] Lewis’ head, because he’s a seven-time world champion… he has everything to lose. Max is the young kid that’s taking the risks, that’s throwing everything at it and has got nothing to lose.”