Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Anthony Hamilton believes his son Lewis and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen are just “fierce competitors” as he denied that there is any bad blood between the pair in their thrilling championship fight.
With just five races remaining, the championship looks set to go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi, with the Dutchman currently holding a 12-point lead over the Mercedes driver, with tensions high.
But emotions have already boiled over this season with the pair tangling at the British Grand Prix, and again at the Italian Grand Prix with both drivers crashing out of the race.
Hamilton picked up a penalty for the opening lap collision at Silverstone and went on to win the race in front of his home crowd, meanwhile, Verstappen was hit with a penalty after the crash in Monza and had to start three places back in Russia.
And with many calling it the best rivalry we’ve seen in recent years, Hamilton Snr denied any suggestion the pair don’t like each other.
“No, that’s not true, they are fierce competitors,” Hamilton Snr told talkSPORT. “Lewis is where Max wants to be, Max is where Lewis wants to be.
Mercedes explain where US GP went wrong for Lewis Hamilton
“They are like boxers going into the ring, but I guarantee that when it’s over and done there will be huge hugs and laughter and kisses between the pair of them.”
More eyebrows were raised during a bizarre incident during first practice on Friday in the United States. The pair seemed to be challenging each other on the start/finish straight heading up to Turn 1.
Verstappen called Hamilton a “stupid idiot” over the team radio and raised his middle finger up at the seven-time world champion.
But Hamilton Snr was clear to point out the fallouts are all part of the show.
“It’s called competition,” he said. “If you’re too friendly with your competitor then you ease off the gas a little bit too much. You only have to look further down the field yesterday between the two McLaren drivers and the Ferrari drivers – those guys are friends.
“This is racing. When you’re off the field you’re very friendly. When you’re in battle, all is fair in love and war.”
F1 US GP live stream: How to watch Formula One American Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton rues Red Bull’s ‘upper hand’ after US GP
Mercedes ‘not in a good situation’ in Hamilton vs Verstappen fight
Hamilton famously fell out with Nico Rosberg during their time together as team-mates at Mercedes before the German retired from the sport in 2016, and during the 2011 season, Hamilton also shared a fiery relationship with Felipe Massa.
But with seven world championships under his belt, his father was unsure as to when Lewis may decide enough is enough.
“I’m not sure [how long he will race] is the answer,” Anthony said. “As I always say to him if you feel fit, if you’re still enjoying driving the car, still love getting in it, then keep going and that’s what he loves, he loves driving the car, I suspect he’ll keep going.
“There’s still a quarter of the season to go, at the end of the day we’ll keep fighting until the very end win or lose it would have been a fantastic season, win or lose.
“Being the elder in the series, whatever it is, are winners because it’s very rare that you get to the age of 36, 37 years of age and still be able to compete at this level with drivers that are 10 years your junior, so for us every day is a championship win.
“Lewis is the last of the mohicans if you think about it, he’s from the era of Rosberg, [Robert] Kubica, [Heikki] Kovalainen, and all those guys have gone but you’ve still got Lewis who’s still here, he is in the new era with all these new young drivers and still the driver to beat.
“There isn’t a huge amount of pressure on Lewis, but he’s competitive and every race that he competes in he wants to win, he’s going on 37 but going on 22.”
Source: Read Full Article