Hamilton & Verstappen expect clean racing but might be 'sick of each other' by Abu Dhabi

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are confident the racing between them will remain clean during their Formula 1 title fight.

The two drivers have found themselves wheel-to-wheel at all three races so far, with the start at Imola the closest they've come to making contact.

And asked about those battles, Verstappen admits the best thing so far has been the ability to put faith in Hamilton not to cause a collision.

“It’s been really cool, especially when you race a driver, when you know that you can go to the absolute limit, I guess you can trust each other to just race super-hard,” said the Red Bull man.

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“I think that’s always really nice because you can see in the three races it’s been really close to each other but predictable.

“Lewis has never had something like ‘oh, we’re going to crash’ or something. I always have full trust in Lewis that we all give each other enough space.”

Hamilton responded: “I just second that. I think it is naturally down to respect and I think we are both very, very hard but fair and I think that’s what makes great racing.

"I think we will continue to keep it clean and keep it on the edge but I don’t think either of us has a plan to get any closer than we have been.”

After the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Briton admitted if every race follows the same pattern, he and Verstappen might be "sick of each other" by Abu Dhabi in December.

However, Max isn't buying into the narrative that it is just he and Hamilton in a straight head-to-head duel

“Personally not,” the Dutchman told Channel 4. “I’m just very relaxed. I’m not stressed or anything, thinking about how this can be really an exciting season. I just go home and do my thing.

“It’s not the first time I’ve been in this position. In Formula 1 yes, but not before.

“This is of course what I want but I don’t need to put extra pressure on myself to perform. I know what I can do and when it gets to a race weekend I will try the best I can.

“For me, it works. If it happens, it happens but if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. I understand, though, that people look at it differently.

“I saw on Twitter recently ’round two of the battle between ‘Lewis and Max’. I know they want to hype it up but I’m like ‘come on guys’.

“I don’t see it like that. It’s more than just me against Lewis or Lewis against me.”