Verstappen: Growing F1 points lead won’t change Hamilton approach

Max Verstappen says his growing points lead in the Formula 1 title race won’t change his approach when racing wheel-to-wheel against rival Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen: Growing F1 points lead won’t change Hamilton approach

Verstappen heads into this weekend’s race in Mexico leading Hamilton by 12 points at the top of the drivers’ championship with five rounds left this season, having extended his advantage with victory at the United States Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Mercedes driver Hamilton backed Red Bull to be “rapid” at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as the high altitude conditions look set to play to the strengths of Verstappen’s car. 

Verstappen and Hamilton have crashed together twice so far this season – at Silverstone and at Monza – as well as a number of other close moments on-track.

Comparisons have been drawn to the incidents between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at the height of their rivalry, but Verstappen said it was not something that was on his mind.

“I don’t really think about previous historic fights between two drivers, what they have done,” Verstappen said. “That’s the past. I just focus on what I have to do on-track, and that’s to try and do the best I can.

“That’s how, at the end of the day, you’re going to win the championship. You have to try and get the most available points out there, and of course try to beat your rival.”

Asked by Motorsport.com if he would change his approach when battling Hamilton wheel-to-wheel with a growing points lead in mind, Verstappen replied: “Not really, no.

“My approach will be the same as the whole year. I always try to score the most available points.

“Out there, I of course race hard, like Lewis does, like everyone else does, and of course we’ll always try to keep it clean.”

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

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

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Speaking on Thursday, Hamilton made reference to the fact that Verstappen was in his first F1 title battle when discussing the pressures involved of their fight. But Verstappen felt he was having no issues staying calm and handling the intensity of the championship fight.

“I like what I’m doing, so that takes the pressure off,” added Verstappen. “It’s not the first time that I’ve been in a championship fight. Yes, first time in Formula 1, but not in my life.

Read Also:

“At the end of the day, that doesn’t really change, because you need to win, and that’s what I’ve been doing in the past as well. So I need to just try and do the same here.

“Like I have said already in previous races, when the car is capable to win, I’ll win. If the car is not capable of winning, I’ll not win.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton wants to win F1 title ‘the right way’, not like Senna/Prost
Previous article

Hamilton wants to win F1 title ‘the right way’, not like Senna/Prost

Next article

Giovinazzi hopes to know ‘bad or good’ news over Alfa F1 future soon

Giovinazzi hopes to know ‘bad or good’ news over Alfa F1 future soon
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021