F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Unexpectedly Encourages “Great” Max Verstappen, Putting Aside Cut-Throat Rivalry

Published 01/25/2024, 6:50 AM EST

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A title showdown between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton is all everyone wants to see. This is the aftermath of the cutthroat championship rivalry that began in 2021 and ended with the very controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi GP. And while the championship is long gone, the rivalry between the duo has been given eternal status. Nonetheless, Lewis Hamilton has now put the rivalry aside to encourage Max Verstappen. But how?

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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s rivalry can be compared to that of Niki Lauda and James Hunt. The only difference is that media houses and social media have taken the rivalry to a different level. It’s not only the driver and the teams that are involved in the rivalry but the millions of fans as well. Any social media post about Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton will have two different fan bases giving their opinion, i.e. the LH Army and the Dutch Army. 

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Yet, when you ask Verstappen or Hamilton in person about their rivalry with the other, it’s just another driver that they have to beat on track. However, the 7X champ did make a fiery statement while renewing the Mercedes contract as he advised on having unfinished business in F1, i.e. the 8th title that was taken away from his grasp by Max Verstappen. But putting the grudges aside, Hamilton came out to encourage Max Verstappen.

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The Dutchman has been relentless ever since he won the 2021 title. 2022 and 2023 were years of complete domination. However, 2023 stands out as Verstappen broke multiple records and set the standards super high. It is hard to believe Verstappen’s 2023 season will ever be topped. In a recent interview with formule1.nl, Lewis Hamilton was asked what he thinks of Max Verstappen, to which he replied, “Keep doing what you’re doing, I’d say. He’s doing great.”

Max Verstappen, on the other hand, also brought forward his hand, giving insights into his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton. Let’s see what he had to say. 

“Don’t need that kind of rivalry”: Max Verstappen’s rivalry with Lewis Hamilton isn’t personal 

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Both Mercedes and Red Bull’s Team Principals took multiple shots at the No.1 driver of the rival team in 2023. Toto Wolff disregarded Max Verstappen’s consecutive win record by advising it is for Wikipedia only, whereas Christian Horner took a jab at Hamilton by suggesting how he hasn’t won a race in two years while Hamilton to Red Bull news was going around. Seems as if the Red Bull & Max Verstappen vs Mercedes & Lewis Hamilton fight is somewhat personal.

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But Max Verstappen has disregarded that. During an interview with The Times, Max Verstappen suggested that his rivalry with Hamilton isn’t personal and is something only limited to the track. He said, “I don’t need that kind of rivalry. Of course, we want to beat each other, but honestly, once we’re in a private setting it’s like just normal guys.”

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Watch this Story: Bromance moments between Max Verstappen & Lewis Hamilton

Both Hamilton and Verstappen have immense respect for each other and have undermined their rivalry. What is your opinion on the dynamics between the duo? Let us know in the comments section.

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Written by:

Pranay Bhagi

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"More powerful than fear itself is the will to win" I’m Pranay, 24, and a huge petrol-head. Anything with a wheel and an engine fascinates me. Dedicatedly following F1 for over a decade now and it all started during the Sebastian Vettel domination era.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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