Max Verstappen believes his driving style in his time in Formula 1 does not differ much from that of Lewis Hamilton in his formative years on the grid, despite veiled criticism from the world champion.
The pair were engaged in a brief war of words in 2019 after Hamilton accused Verstappen of having “torpedoed” him at the start of the Mexican GP, something the Red Bull man said was disrespectful.
Although they soon buried the hatchet, Hamilton’s claim that he drives differently when battling Verstappen is something that fellow drivers, such as Sebastian Vettel, have also echoed.
However, the Dutchman does not consider himself wildly different from both, highlighting their greater experience as the key difference-maker.
Verstappen told Formule 1: “Do I temper my aggression more nowadays? No. I just think that with more experience in Formula 1 you can better estimate what can and cannot be done.
“That may have something to do with the generation, but in itself I don’t think we drive very differently than he did in his first five years.
“Whatever it is, he is in a car that is world champion material. We sometimes have the chance to fight with him and then we have to be a little harder, because otherwise you don’t have a chance.
“If it were the other way around, if we were in such a car, we would sometimes be less aggressive. Because in such a position you know: I just have to get my points for the World Championship.
“Then it is sometimes better to be second and let the other win the race.”