'Don't Need That Kind Of Rivalry': Verstappen On Hard Racing With Hamilton

by Erik VirostkoMonday, 22 January 2024 at 21:00
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There were only few rivalries in F1 that make fans excited anytime they hear about it, and Max Verstappen's and Lewis Hamilton's rivalry is certainly one of those.
Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet competed fiercely, the rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna is probably the most-known one, but the most recent rivalry in the pinnacle of motorsport is that between the seven-time World Champion and young prodigy.
Often, these rivalries were between drivers who were similar in age, but that's not the case with the 26-year-old Dutchman and the 39-year-old Brit, as Hamilton already had a World Championship when Verstappen was still visiting elementary school.
Their rivalry certainly culminated at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when the Dutch driver quite literally stole the eighth World Championship from Hamilton in the last lap of the race.
Since then, Mercedes were not able to keep up with Red Bull, as Verstappen won two other World Championships, but when it comes to talking about their rivalry, one thing is always pointed out, his aggressiveness on the track.
Verstappen is one of the drivers that doesn't leave an extra inch of asphalt left, and that's also one of the reasons why he's been the most dominant driver in F1's history over the past season.
Speaking recently to The Times, the Dutch driver spoke about the risky nature of the sport, which often requires wheel-on-wheel racing, but it's not something he thinks about.

"I’m aware of the dangers. But I try not to think about that too much. You cannot be afraid in a car. If you’re afraid in a racing car, it’s just not going to work out."

The Dutchman also spoke about his rivalry with Hamilton. Many think that they are very fierce competitor, who according to some, don't like each other, but that's not the case according to Verstappen.
The three-time World Champion say that it's not the type of rivalry he would want to have, and even said that the two are "normal guys" outside of the racing track.

"I don’t need that kind of rivalry. Of course we want to beat each other, but honestly, once we’re in a private setting it’s like just normal guys."

In 2024, Verstappen will attempt to add yet another tittle to his collection, but Hamilton, and many fans will be hoping that the Brit would be able to challenge him, as the fights between the two often create highlights that circle around the world in a few minutes.