Max Verstappen: Lewis Hamilton rivalry pushes me on

The young Dutchman has fought for the Drivers’ Championship away from his rival for the first time in five years and, despite some collisions during the year, he believes the rivalry is healthy not only for both drivers, but also for the teams and sport as a whole.

Last updated: 15/12/21 22:45

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Newly crowned Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen reflects on his title win with Craig Slater of Sky Sports News.

Newly crowned Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen reflects on his title win with Craig Slater of Sky Sports News.

Max Verstappen paid tribute to Lewis Hamilton and believes the rivalry between them has prompted both of them to strive for near perfection this season.

With nothing to separate the duo all year, all eyes were on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of the season last weekend, where the Dutchman battled for the Drivers’ Championship away from Hamilton for the first time in five years. .

The Red Bull driver looked out of the showdown at various points but, after the Safety Car entered to deal with a Nicholas Latifi crash, he was given a respite.

He subsequently changed tires during the delay and, after the lapped cars were allowed to clear the safety car, he and leader Hamilton had a last-lap shootout where Verstappen prevailed.

Hamilton, despite his Mercedes team making two appeals in the aftermath of the race, was nonetheless magnanimous in defeating his young rival.

Max Verstappen paid tribute to rival Lewis Hamilton after winning his first Drivers' Championship

Max Verstappen paid tribute to rival Lewis Hamilton after winning his first Drivers’ Championship

Verstappen returned the compliment when he reflected on his rivalry with the seven-time world champion, saying Sky Sports News: “I had a great fight all season with Lewis and obviously we met a couple of times, but in the end we respect each other a lot and it’s great for the sport.

“It’s hard to lose a championship on the last lap, but what was really nice is that Lewis came straight to me after the race and congratulated me: that’s what real athletes do.

“The way we pushed each other to the limit in every single race, as well as the team: everyone has to be perfect or at least try to be perfect.

“This brings a lot of pressure and stress for everyone, which is quite extraordinary because in the past I’ve had seasons where I was on the podium but there was nothing to push for, so having a season like this was pretty intense.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reflects on Max Verstappen's drivers' championship and a first for the team in seven years, telling Sky Sports News's Craig Slater that the season's intensity made it one of the best.

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reflects on Max Verstappen’s drivers’ championship and a first for the team in seven years, telling Sky Sports News’s Craig Slater that the season’s intensity made it one of the best.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reflects on Max Verstappen’s drivers’ championship and a first for the team in seven years, telling Sky Sports News’s Craig Slater that the season’s intensity made it one of the best.

Horner: Titans Max and Lewis were a joy to watch

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the intense rivalry between his driver Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has resulted in one of the best F1 seasons ever.

Reflecting on his ninth title at the helm, Horner said: “This is just on the same level as the first, it’s special because of the intensity – it’s been a truly exceptional season.

“Those two drivers (Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton) have been exceptional this year, they were a step ahead of the rest of the group and for me it was a joy to watch and a joy to be a part of.

“Seeing these two titans head to head and delivering at every single Grand Prix was something and I have no doubt that it will be like this again in 2022”.

.

Leave a Comment