Lewis Hamilton on approach against Max Verstappen and why he sympathizes with his F1 rival in the face of title “pressure”

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Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think Max Verstappen’s penalty will be a deterrent to stopping crashes in the future

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think Max Verstappen’s penalty will be a deterrent to stopping crashes in the future

Lewis Hamilton stressed the need for himself and Max Verstappen to “learn from the past” and avoid more collisions as the Englishman opened up about his approach, while admitting he wonders if his rival runs differently due to the “pressure” of a first title fight.

Verstappen then retorted that Hamilton “doesn’t know me” after being briefed on the world champion’s comments on stress management as the pair clashed – off track this time – Thursday ahead of the Russian GP.

Hamilton and Verstappen prepare for another battle this weekend as the championship race intensifies, and spoke to the media eleven days after their last crash at Monza – where the Red Bull car dramatically ended up on top of the Mercedes in the gravel.

With Verstappen taking a three-place grid penalty this weekend, the title rivals have now each been penalized for collisions this season.

Hamilton told Sky F1 the penalty was “unlikely” to be a deterrent for Verstappen but, keen to avoid a repeat, said: “At the end of the day, we all have to be smart and know that there is a time when you are not going to corner.

Max Verstappen moved alongside Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop and the pair hit the first chicane, causing the two to run aground in the gravel!

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Max Verstappen moved alongside Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop and the pair hit the first chicane, causing the two to run aground in the gravel!

Max Verstappen moved alongside Lewis Hamilton after his pit stop and the pair hit the first chicane, causing the two to run aground in the gravel!

“It’s about living to fight another day for the next turn. Naturally, through experience, you find that not all is won in a turn. I hope we don’t have more. incidents during the year. “

But while Hamilton said he had “no doubt that we will both be professionals and learn from the past,” he admitted he didn’t expect Verstappen to suddenly give up. place in wheel-to-wheel battles.

“He’s never done it in the past so I don’t expect that to happen,” Hamilton told Craig Slater. “And I think that’s the way I’ll approach it, without expecting it, and I’ll just try to create the space that I need.

“I am sure he will and we will continue to learn.”

Hamilton then added: “I know what it’s like to fight for your first championship, there is a lot going on and there is also a lot to do.”

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially defining moment for the season when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix

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Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially defining moment for the season when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix

Dramatic new footage has been released of the potentially defining moment for the season when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the Italian Grand Prix

Hamilton “sympathizes” with Verstappen | Max: He doesn’t know me

While this is the seventh F1 season for 23-year-old Verstappen, it is his first where he is a true contender for the championship, which he currently leads by five points. Hamilton, who was 22 when he first fought for the title as a rookie in 2007, said he sympathized with Verstappen and hinted that he was racing wheel to wheel differently due to the pressure involved.

“I know the pressure that comes with it and the experiences that come with it,” said Hamilton. “Your eagerness… you go through a lot of different experiences and emotions during this time.”

He continued, “He won’t admit it and I’m not going to speculate, I’m just saying I remember what it was like when I had my first one and it definitely went up.

Natalie Pinkham and Paul Di Resta expect the Sochi Russian GP this weekend

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Natalie Pinkham and Paul Di Resta expect the Sochi Russian GP this weekend

Natalie Pinkham and Paul Di Resta expect the Sochi Russian GP this weekend

“It was tough, it was intense, I was going through a lot of different emotions, I didn’t always deal with it the best. It’s normal, you know, it’s a lot of pressure when you work in a big team, there are a lot of expectations in itself and the desire to win is huge. I sympathize and understand that. I know that we will continue to grow from this. “

Hamilton, in his 15th F1 season and chasing a record-breaking eighth crown, said the pressure was “a lot more manageable now”.

“I’ve been here for a long time so it’s a lot easier to manage,” he said. “My first year, I was very young and I didn’t have the tools to handle the kind of pressure that was put on me. It’s very different for me. [now]”.

Of Hamilton’s comments, Verstappen joked: “I’m so nervous I can barely sleep! It’s so horrible to fight for a title, I really hate it …”

The championship leader then retaliated against his rival.

“If anyone knows me, I think I’m very relaxed about all of these things and I really can’t be bothered, I’m very cold,” he said. “It’s the best feeling ever to have a great car that you can race in every weekend and fight for the win. It doesn’t matter if you’re just ahead of a championship or not.

“These comments just show that he really doesn’t know me. Which is good, I also don’t need to know him, how fully he is. We can do that for a very long time.”

Hamilton conditional and Russian GP hopes

In the frightening Italian GP collision, Verstappen’s car not only landed on top of Hamilton’s, but also touched his helmet, with part of the Red Bull’s rear wheel pushing the Hamilton’s head forward.

Hamilton said he was in pain after the race but “felt great” heading into this weekend’s event in Sochi, having had physiotherapy and acupuncture sessions on his neck.

Martin Brundle says Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen know they can't afford to give in the next time they fight on the track

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Martin Brundle says Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen know they can’t afford to give in the next time they fight on the track

Martin Brundle says Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen know they can’t afford to give in the next time they fight on the track

“I feel really lucky,” Hamilton said. “I felt very grateful Monday that I didn’t feel worse.

“We did a lot of acupuncture, a lot of physiotherapy and I think it was luck rather than the weight landing on my head, it pushed him forward so it just stretched all my muscles. worked on it and was able to get back to training midweek. “

After he and Verstappen crash at Monza, Hamilton remains five points behind rivals in the standings but can regain the title lead at a track Mercedes has won every year since 2014.

“It’s very, very important, important as it may be,” admitted Hamilton, looking to make the most of Verstappen’s penalty.

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