My Real Battle Is Against Myself, Not Max Verstappen: Lewis Hamilton

Published 06/14/2021, 2:12 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


Across all his seasons with Mercedes, the current F1 season seems to be the toughest one for Lewis Hamilton. Although his teammate Valtteri Bottas is struggling, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is stepping up to challenge the Briton for the world championship.

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The two drivers have established themselves as the frontrunners this season, and fans might finally see the title fight go down to the wire. Ahead of the upcoming French Grand Prix, Hamilton revealed his biggest battle and summed up the rivalry with Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton reveals he always competes against himself

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Hamilton is looking to win his eighth driver’s championship this season, which would put him above the legendary Michael Schumacher. However, this season isn’t turning out to be like previous seasons.

In the first five races, Red Bull looked more menacing than ever, with Verstappen finishing no lower than 2nd. However, the Dutchman’s crash in Baku gave him his first DNF, which Hamilton couldn’t capitalize on.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

Despite the intense battle with Verstappen, Hamilton believes his biggest battle is with himself. The Briton mentions he looks for ways to be better than before, and how the lockdown helped him. He said, “I don’t think it’s for Max or anyone else. The reason is that every day I discover new things about myself.

“With the pandemic lockdowns, I have had more time to refine my talent, body and mind. I always compete against myself. I think about how to fight, I look at how I was last year and how to overcome a seven-time world champion.” (Quotes translated by Google)

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Hamilton: Challenging Verstappen “is a lot of fun”

Despite his struggles so far, Hamilton admits he is enjoying the battle with Verstappen. When asked whether he respects the Dutchman, the Briton said, “Yes, on and off the track. And it doesn’t have to change.”

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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who finished in second place REUTERS/Albert Gea

“He is an extraordinary driver and it is a lot of fun to challenge him,” Hamilton added.

After two disappointing outings in Monaco and Baku, Hamilton will look to return to winning ways in Le Castellet. Although he is going through a tough phase, the Briton has two victories in the French Grand Prix. Can Hamilton thwart Verstappen’s charge on June 20?

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Sanket Nair

361 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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