Verstappen "can't be bothered" with mind games in F1 title fight

Max Verstappen says he “can’t be bothered” with mind games against Lewis Hamilton, but believes their respect will remain through this year’s Formula 1 title fight.

Verstappen "can't be bothered" with mind games in F1 title fight

Verstappen moved into the lead of the F1 drivers’ championship for the first time in his career by winning last time out in Monaco, pulling four points clear of Mercedes rival Hamilton.

Verstappen said after the race that “actions speak louder than words” in what seemed to be a dig at Hamilton, who had said earlier in the week that Verstappen “feels perhaps he has a lot to prove”.

Hamilton followed this up by saying he found mind games “childish” and wasn’t looking to get into any off-track back-and-forth with Verstappen.

Hamilton and Verstappen have gone wheel-to-wheel at four of the five races so far this season, with the pair sharing a mutual respect on-track and avoiding any incidents.

Asked if he was preparing for mind games to unfold in the fight with Hamilton, Verstappen moved to distance himself from them.

“If they come - I can’t be bothered by it, to be honest, mind games,” Verstappen said.

“I think Lewis said after the race he doesn’t want to play those things. So we just have to focus on what we have to do on the track anyway, which I think we do, and that’s also the best.

“Whatever is said in here [in the press conference], sometimes, at the end of the day, it can be a bit emotional sometimes as well after a race or before a race. It also sometimes depends on how you get the question asked.

“So it’s alright. I think Lewis and I, we really respect each other, and I think that’s really important.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing at press conference

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing at press conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

Hamilton struggled to seventh place in Monaco as Mercedes failed to match Red Bull for pace, causing him to squander a 14-point lead over Verstappen in the standings.

But Verstappen was not convinced that Mercedes remains behind Red Bull for pace at normal tracks, believing the German team has an advantage.

“I do still think they are, on normal tracks, ahead of us,” Verstappen said.

“But I think for us so far this season, we’ve had a great start compared to the other seasons.

“We just need to keep it up, we need to keep improving, we need to bring new bits to the car all the time to try and improve it. Then I think we have a very good shot at it.

“But so far, of course to be leading the championship is very positive.”

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas “surprised” by Mercedes suggestion he was out of position in Monaco pitstop

Previous article

Bottas “surprised” by Mercedes suggestion he was out of position in Monaco pitstop

Next article

Norris unable to drive McLaren F1 car the way he wants

Norris unable to drive McLaren F1 car the way he wants
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021