Lewis Hamilton Explains Controversial Max Verstappen Feud in FP2 at COTA – “All Fun & Games”

Published 10/24/2021, 8:59 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with champagne after winning the race with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Pool via REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov


the build-up to Sunday’s United States GP has been exciting. Despite the thrilling Qualifying session on Saturday, fans got a glimpse of what the weekend was to bring on Friday itself. During the second free practice session, Lewis Hamilton tried overtaking his rival; this concluded with Max Verstappen calling him an idiot. After the qualifying session, Hamilton explained why he got competitive on a Friday.

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As Verstappen made his way around the final corner, he was ready to make another lap on the soft tires. However, soon Hamilton charged around Turn 19, pushing the Red Bull wide off the exit. As the duo approached the main straight, they were fighting for position! As Hamilton went around Turn1, Verstappen was quick to flip him off for the antic.

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In the post-qualifying press conference, Hamilton spoke on the matter. “We were battling into the last corner… and it’s a silly thing. It’s all fun and games.”

We don’t know about Verstappen, but it was sure fun to watch. If anything, it was a window to the remainder of the season. On Sunday, Hamilton has a battle with the two bulls. Ironically, Hamilton will fight Verstappen on the straight again, heading up the elevated Turn 1 in COTA.

Lewis Hamilton is well aware of the war to turn 1 and beyond. “We’ll have fun tomorrow and give it everything as you would expect, no real difference to any other part of the season and yeah, that’s all.”

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen look ahead to another battle

Other rounds brought out the question: “Will this be an interesting one?”; the race in COTA will undoubtedly be a thrilling one. The circuit is conducive to overtaking, has quick corners and even better straights. It’s the perfect recipe for a spicy championship battle between the protagonists.

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder

What everyone is looking forward to is the race to turn 1. Verstappen has the obvious advantage: his Red Bull is in pole position, which also gives him the inside line heading to the turn. However, if the weekend has taught us anything, it’s that Mercedes is as quick as a flash on the straights. Thus, the main straight to Turn 1 will have our eyes peeled on the action.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Darron Cummings

However, turn 1 would only be the beginning. The track in Austin looks to be a good place for the championship lead to making a turning point; Texan duels between the two will surely be a frequent sight. As Crofty says his line and the cars begin their hot 56 laps around the COTA, the championship leaders will be quick to push their “fun and games” aside.

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Watch this story: Verstappen Gives the Middle Finger to ‘Stupid’ Hamilton: Best Moments from F1 Practice Session at US GP

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Shreya Sanjeev

625 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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