The 2021 Formula 1 season will go down in history as one of the most exciting and sensational seasons ever. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton pushed each other to the limit, sometimes even over the limit. Yet there was always respect between the two drivers. Almost always.
Hatred between Verstappen and Hamilton
In an extensive interview with the BBC Verstappen discusses his rivalry with Hamilton. Although according to the Dutchman there has always been respect between the two drivers, emotions sometimes ran high. “Sometimes we did hate each other, but that’s fine,” the brand new world champion said.
According to Verstappen that is the competitive spirit of both drivers, but Hamilton is an incredible driver according to him.
Verstappen says in the interview that he had a brief moment with Hamilton after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after which all the cold was out of the air. “He came up to me after the race.
You look each other in the eyes. You don’t say much, but you relate to each other a lot and you really appreciate the fight.” The two drivers pushed each other to the limit this season and both drivers were at the limit of what they could do with their car.
Renewed battle in 2022
The rivalry this season was not only between Hamilton and Verstappen, but of course also between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing. According to Verstappen, both teams were under enormous pressure to make the right decisions. “We always had to do our best, otherwise we knew the others would beat us,” he said.
That the championship finally slipped out of the hands of Hamilton and Mercedes on the last lap of the final race must have been incredibly tough for his title rival, according to Verstappen.
The Dutchman does think the fact that Hamilton already has seven titles has reassured him in a way. Moreover, Verstappen hopes that the rivalry with Hamilton will continue in 2022. “He’s a great competitor. It was a real pleasure to drive against him.”