Hamilton: "Childish" to get into war of words in F1 title battle

Lewis Hamilton says he is not looking to play mind games with Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen, believing it can “get a bit childish” entering a war of words.

Hamilton: "Childish" to get into war of words in F1 title battle

Hamilton lost the lead of the F1 drivers’ championship for the first time this season after finishing seventh in Monaco last Sunday, while Verstappen claimed victory for Red Bull.

The result came at the end of a week that had seen Hamilton say on Wednesday that Verstappen “feels perhaps he has a lot to prove” with aggressive on-track moves in wheel-to-wheel battles. 

Verstappen said following his victory in Monaco that “actions speak louder than words” in an apparent dig at Hamilton, who struggled for form through the weekend. 

"You have to talk on the track and that is what I like,” Verstappen said. “We as a team so far made the smallest mistakes, and that is why we are ahead. I hope we can keep that going for the rest of the season.”

Asked about Verstappen’s post-race comments, Hamilton claimed that he was not looking to engage in any off-track mind games and that he wanted to avoid a war of words.

“I’m not playing mind games,” Hamilton said.

“It is interesting what Christian [Horner] comes out with, but I couldn’t care less.

“They did a great job this weekend and that is that. We have had some good races also, but as I said there are 17 races to go.

“So it starts to get a bit childish when you get into a war of words.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

But Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was more receptive to the back-and-forth comments between Hamilton and Verstappen, saying the off-track drama was another element of the title battle.

“We have a fight between outstanding drivers,” Wolff said.

“The championship has swung in both directions, things are being said that are good for entertainment.

“I would attribute that sentence [by Verstappen] to the entertainment factor, and great to talk about it and write about it.

“This is action on the track, and soap [opera] off the track.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Why Britain's Ferrari-linked F1 hopeful is playing the waiting game
Previous article

Why Britain's Ferrari-linked F1 hopeful is playing the waiting game

Next article

Ocon highlights 'massive' role of new engineers in recent F1 performances

Ocon highlights 'massive' role of new engineers in recent F1 performances
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022