F1 Reporter Reveals How Lewis Hamilton Is Winning the Mental Battle Against Max Verstappen

Published 08/17/2021, 5:36 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/David W Cerny


The 2021 F1 season has been quite exemplary so far, with neither Lewis Hamilton nor Max Verstappen giving up on the title as of yet. The first half of the season did witness Verstappen hold the edge over his British rival on the track, having secured the most number of wins in 2021.

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This does prove that Verstappen has been the fastest driver on the track. But, is that necessarily the case in terms of mental battle?

Lawrence Barretto, senior writer at Formula 1, doesn’t think so. He felt that Hamilton has beaten Verstappen fair and square in the battle of minds. What’s more, Barretto is certain that Hamilton will hold the upper hand going into the second half of the 2021 season despite possessing a much slower car compared to the Dutchman.

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Lewis Hamilton is using his experience: Barretto

The F1 reporter suggested that Hamilton is investing all of his experience into the ongoing season in a bid to defeat Verstappen.

He reckoned that the Briton is playing the long game, which looked quite evident through the initial few race weekends. Hamilton has always been the one to back out of most of the race weekends this season, consequently finishing behind.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Hamilton is using his immense experience to come out on top here. He’s well-schooled in playing the long game, which is why when he went wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen in Imola, Portimao, and Barcelona, he was the one who backed out of it to avoid them coming together,” he said.

And in the aftermath of their Silverstone clash, Hamilton was relaxed. Whereas Verstappen appeared to crack under pressure, snapping at journalists when discussing the incident.

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Can Max Verstappen fight back in the latter half of 2021?

History suggests that Hamilton will be the strongest during the second half of a season. The Briton hardly portrayed himself as a threat to Verstappen until he arrived at Silverstone. Now, he leads the championship out of nowhere and Verstappen is under a massive amount of pressure.

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However, the good news for Verstappen is that the summer break arrived and the entire Red Bull got the opportunity to take a breather and look back at the season.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after finishing first and second respectively in the sprint race qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Hence, there are significant chances that the Dutchman will come back stronger in the second half. What’s more, Verstappen will be racing in his own den over the upcoming 2 race weekends- Spa and Zandvoort.

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Hence, holding the home advantage against Hamilton, can Verstappen reclaim the lead and yield the pressure onto the Mercedes champion?

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Rohit Kumar

1150 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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