Nonchalant Lewis Hamilton ‘Doesn’t Spend a Moment’ Worrying About Verstappen’s Distractions

Published 10/29/2021, 9:57 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the race with second place Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Brian Snyder


“Mind games” may be a trending word of the 2021 season. With an intense championship battle between Mercedes and Red Bull, it has been a common accusation on either side of the front line. To what extent this is true or effective, no one knows; but Lewis Hamilton makes it known that distracting Verstappen is far from problems.

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In a recent interview with SkySports, Hamilton shed light on a recent statement he made that brought in a lot of controversies. Ahead of the Russian GP, Hamilton had stated that he empathized with the pressure Verstappen feels; considering Hamilton said this after their collision in Monza, it sounded like a nuanced swing from Hamilton.

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However, now the defending champion stated that his only focus lies on his game. “I don’t spend a moment thinking what might or what might not be a distraction for him, that doesn’t bother me either way.”

Hamilton added, “If I do my job to the best of my abilities, I don’t have a problem. That’s how I approach my job.” In a classic case of a rivalry between a maestro and a rising star, the sport has many that fit into that box. However, Hamilton and Verstappen bring something new and exciting; something that will be talked about for a long time.

Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen’s calm approach

In the interview, Lewis explained his alternative approach to the championship. “I’ve been drawing on feeding off this energy of doing this positive work. I noticed that last year and it was a part of that last year.”

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Now, with five rounds to go, Hamilton looked back on the year that was. “I expected it was going to be a rollercoaster ride. It’s been amazing, it’s been the hardest year on so many levels, but there’s been so many positives and I have really, really enjoyed it, even the difficult days…”It definitely could be better in the sense that we’ve dropped points, we’ve not always been perfect, but you live and you learn…”

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Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Seco

His contender takes a similar philosophical approach to the hectic season and the result that awaits him. “I know that if my car is fast enough until the end of the season, I will win the championship, but if it’s not, then we probably won’t win it. At the end of the day, it’s not going to change my world.”

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While the protagonists of the season are relatively calm, the rest of the F1 world waits anxiously for Abu Dhabi. Doubly, for the buildup to the grand finale. With a triple-header and challenging circuits ahead, the championship lead could change hands either way. While Lewis and Max stay Zen, we wait anxiously for what is coming.

Watch this story: Inside Michael Schumacher’s Car Collection

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Shreya Sanjeev

640 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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