Lewis Hamilton on approach vs Max Verstappen and why he empathises with F1 rival over title ‘pressure’

Verstappen later hit back that Hamilton “doesn’t know me” after being told of the world champion’s comments about handling the stress as the pair clashed – off-track this time – on Thursday ahead of the Russian GP. Hamilton and Verstappen are gearing up for another battle this weekend as the championship run-in intensifies,




and spoke to the media eleven days on from their latest 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 penalised for collisions this season.



Hamilton told Sky F1 that the penalty was “unlikely” to be a deterrent for Verstappen but, eager to avoid a repeat, said: “Ultimately we all have to be smart, and know that there is a time you are not going to make the corner.
“It’s all about that you get to live to fight another day for the next corner. Naturally through experience you find that it’s not all won in one corner. I’m hopeful we won’t have any more incidents through the year.”



But while Hamilton said that he has “no doubts that we will both be professional and learn from the past”, he admitted he is not expecting Verstappen to suddenly give way in wheel-to-wheel battles. “He’s never done it in the past so I don’t expect it to happen,” Hamilton told Craig Slater. “And I think that’s the way I will approach things, not expecting it, and just try to create the space that’s needed.

“I’m sure he will and we will continue to learn.”
Hamilton then added: “I know what it’s like fighting for your first championship, there’s a lot going on and there’s a lot riding on it also.”