Lewis Hamilton & I Did ‘Hate Each Other’ at Times: Max Verstappen

Published 12/16/2021, 1:48 AM EST
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


Amidst roaring controversies, Max Verstappen reached the chequered flag in P1 at the Abu Dhabi GP to claim his first-ever world championship title in F1 against Lewis Hamilton. There were cries of joy on one side of the paddock and absolute frustration on the other.

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Despite the crushing disappointment, Hamilton congratulated the Dutchman on winning the championship. Verstappen too lauded the 7-time world champion’s resilience throughout the season. The season, despite frequent controversies, ended on a good note in terms of the duo’s respect for each other.

However, while there were smiles between Hamilton and Verstappen, the latter admitted that the two championship rivals occasionally hated each other.

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What did Max Verstappen say?

As reported by BBC, Verstappen affirmed that there was a bit of hate revolving around himself and Hamilton throughout the season. Yet, their respect for each other off the track was what prevented the hate from escalating any further.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

You look each other in the eye,” he said. “You don’t say a lot but you do relate a lot and you really appreciate the fight.

Sometimes we did hate each other. But, that’s fine. That’s the competitive spirit of both of us. He is an incredible driver,” Verstappen added.

Watch Story: Mad Max: Verstappen’s Angriest Rants on Team Radio

The win was very lucky: Verstappen

Although reckoning that he deserved the championship, Verstappen admitted that the race victory in Abu Dhabi was extremely lucky.

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We have won it on track. People say it was a lucky win. Absolutely, the win was very lucky. But we also have been very unlucky throughout the season.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship with the Netherlands flag on the podium REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Otherwise, the championship would have been decided way earlier, even with the dominance Mercedes had towards the end of the season. I’m like, ‘Well, sometimes a little bit of luck in your life is nice as well,'” Verstappen concluded.

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Overall, Hamilton and Verstappen managed to offer the much-needed spark for F1 amidst a rather stale set of seasons since 2016. But, the question is, can the duo continue to deliver more on-track entertainment? Will Ferrari look to up the ante by joining the title race next season?

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Rohit Kumar

1666 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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