Verstappen doesn't understand 'different story' racing Hamilton vs. others

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Max Verstappen says he doesn't understand why it's a "different story" racing Lewis Hamilton compared to other drivers.

The two drivers have made contact on track several times in recent years, the last coming in Brazil when the Dutchman tried to overtake the seven-time world champion through the Senna 'S'.

With tensions still high between the two drivers after their controversial championship battle in 2021, it has been suggested Verstappen takes a more aggressive approach against Hamilton compared to other drivers.

However, the Red Bull driver denies that is the case.

"I have to be careful what I’m saying," Verstappen told

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"With everyone I’ve been fighting this year, it’s been really hard, aggressive battles and we never really came together.

“Somehow with Lewis, it’s a different story, and I honestly don’t understand.

"I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different with Lewis or to the other drivers in terms of how we’re racing," he stated. "Maybe it’s just a generation thing.

“Of course, everyone is different in their approach. I know that Charles [Leclerc] is a bit different to George [Russell], or to Carlos [Sainz] or to Checo [Perez] or whoever.

"The day before with George [in the Brazil Sprint], we were having an incredible battle - closing the door, defending, out-braking each other. That was a lot of fun.

"I was trying to do the same in the main race [with Lewis], having that kind of battle. But unfortunately, we couldn’t get it to work."


Given the animosity between sections of Hamilton and Verstappen fans, Max knows his comments will be "received as criticism" by the British media, leading people to "hate on you", but...

"That’s not my intention," he insisted. “I always respect Lewis a lot for what he has achieved in the sport.

"That’s why I don’t understand why we cannot race like I’ve been doing with the others."

With Mercedes looking to rebound after their troubled 2022, the upcoming season could well see Verstappen and Hamilton back battling on track more regularly again.

And when asked by Sky Sports if he expected more on-track incidents with the Red Bull driver, Lewis was pretty blunt in his reply. 

“Most likely,” he said. “I think I’ll adapt. You’ve seen in previous years that I try to avoid [contact] in scenarios.

“I’m sure we’ll grow, both sides will grow and improve hopefully so we don’t have experiences as we did in the last race [Sao Paulo], but I wouldn’t hold your breath.”