Max Verstappen, two-time Formula One champion, has expressed his confusion over his frequent on-track collisions with Lewis Hamilton, seven-time champion.
Verstappen told Motorsport, as quoted by SilverArrows.net, that he has “massive respect” for Hamilton and his achievements in the sport, but doesn’t understand why they often crash when racing against each other.
Verstappen pointed to the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix as an example, where he and Hamilton collided on the track. Verstappen stated that he didn’t intend to crash and didn’t think it was fair that he received the blame for the incident. He explained:
“I don’t understand. Maybe it’s just a generation thing, that we understand each other better, we are racing nicer to each other. I don’t get it.”
The Belgian-Dutch driver went on to say that he doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything differently with Hamilton compared to other drivers. He said:
“But I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different to Lewis or to the other drivers in terms of how we’re racing.
“Because the day before [in Brazil] with George [Russell], we were having an incredible [battle], closing the door, defending, out-braking each other.
“That was a lot of fun and I was trying to do the same in the main race, having that kind of battle. But, unfortunately, we couldn’t get it to work.”
Verstappen added that he is aware that his comments about Hamilton may be perceived as criticism in the UK, but that isn’t his intention. He reiterated his respect for Hamilton and his achievements in the sport, but said he doesn’t understand why they can’t race each other the same way he races with other drivers. Verstappen explained:
“In England, this [comment on Hamilton] can very quickly be received as criticism and then I’m being called out on it…I do have to be a little bit more careful with that because immediately it’s really taken as criticism. And then people start to hate on you. Well, that’s not my intention.”