Lewis Hamilton explains why he isn’t giving Max Verstappen the benefit of the doubt any longer.
Lewis Hamilton speaks candidly about his tense championship battle with Max Verstappen.
In his title race with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton admits he has had to be “very, very cautious” this season, adding that he no longer gives the Dutchman the “benefit of the doubt” on the track.
This season, the Red Bull driver has pushed Hamilton to the limit in what the seven-time world champion has described as “too aggressive” driving as the two compete for the title of world champion in 2021.
Despite winning seven championships, the majority of which came during the era of Mercedes’ turbo-hybrid dominance, Hamilton has had to change tactics this season in order to defend against the current championship leader.
“You just have to be very, very wary – more wary than ever before,” Hamilton told the BBC about the title fight with Verstappen.
“Rather than giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you need to be certain that’s what’s going to happen.”
So you must always be prepared to avoid a collision at all costs, even if this means going wide, because you want to see the race finish, right?
“You’re going to crash if you’re stubborn and hold your ground.”
“I’ve just tried to do that.”
I’ve made every effort to avoid colliding.
And I believe I’ve done a decent job in most situations.
It’s impossible to get everything perfect all of the time.”
After colliding on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix and taking each other out mid-race at Monza, the two have come to blows at various points this season.
Throughout the season, however, the seven-time world champion has been forced to take evasive action, most notably on the opening laps of the Emilia Romagna, Spanish, and Italian Grands Prix, where Verstappen refused to yield.
At the Brazilian Grand Prix, the two nearly collided again as Hamilton attempted to take the race lead from Verstappen.
Both drivers ran off the track after the Dutchman refused to yield, in an incident that the stewards deemed unworthy of investigation.
The FIA denied Mercedes’ request for a right of review.
“Backing out is almost always the sensible option to see the end of the race if you’re on the outside of a car,” Hamilton continued.
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