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
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022