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Max Verstappen reignites Lewis Hamilton rivalry with ‘disrespectful’ Mercedes jibe

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton battled fiercely for the world title last year, with the Red Bull driver coming out on top.

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Hamilton v Verstappen: Their careers in numbers

Max Verstappen has added fuel to his intense rivalry with Lewis Hamilton by describing Mercedes as “disrespectful.”

The pair engaged in a sensational duel for the F1 world title last season, with plenty of dramatic twists and turns both on and off the track.

One of the most explosive incidents during the campaign came at the British GP, during which a collision between the pair saw the Dutchman fly off the track and into the barriers.

Hamilton went on to win his home race for the eighth time and celebrated with his team and fans afterwards.

Due to Verstappen’s accident, both he and Red Bull were disappointed with the exuberance of their rivals’ celebrations following their win.

Max Verstappen called rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes “disrespectful”


Getty Images)

“It’s disrespectful what happened there but we looked at what we could have done better,” he told the Guardian.

“Once we came back from the break as a team we really did a good job because we won races in the second half of the season we shouldn’t have won.”

Verstappen won his maiden title in controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last December.

Hamilton was cruising to an unprecedented eighth world title at last month’s Abu Dhabi GP, having led Red Bull title rival Verstappen by 11 seconds going into the remaining laps.

But a late Nicholas Latifi crash dramatically changed the landscape of the race and the title battle.

The safety car was brought onto the track and Verstappen opted for a change in tyres.

FIA race director Masi initially instructed that lapped cars could not overtake the safety vehicle until it left the track, meaning there would not have been time for Verstappen to get behind his rival.

However, Masi later controversially changed his mind, allowing the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves before ordering the safety car off the track.

Therefore, the Dutchman could get on the British driver’s tail before overtaking him in a one-lap shootout, benefiting from driving on far newer tyres.

The pair engaged in a intense rivalry last season in which they collided on multiple occasions


Sky Sports F1)

Despite the controversy, Verstappen believes he is a deserving champion.

“I had a very good season and I think I really deserved it. I have been really unlucky as well,” the 24-year-old said. “People always remember the last race but, if you look at the whole season, the championship should have been decided way earlier.”

He also had little sympathy for Hamilton who was denied a record eighth world title through no fault of his own.

Neither driver gave an inch which resulted in drama both on and off the track


Getty Images)

“For me it’s difficult to picture myself in that situation, because I’m not a seven-time world champion,” Verstappen remarked.

“If I was already a seven-time world champion it hurts a bit less than when I am fighting for my first, leading all the way, controlling it all the way, and then losing it on the last lap. That would be way more painful than already having seven in the bag.”

“Yeah, but just look back on the seven you have. I don’t think it’s so bad, is it?”

In light of Hamilton’s return to social media and the news he will appear at Mercedes’ 2022 car launch next week, the pair look set to rekindle their epic rivalry on the track next season.

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