Hamilton on Max rivalry: ‘We have a lot in common… we’re ruthless’

Watch the full exclusive Lewis Hamilton interview with Naomi Schiff during Sky Sports F1’s Bahrain GP coverage on March 18-20 – the first race weekend of the season; Hamilton and Max Verstappen battled fiercely for last year’s championship

By Matt Morlidge

Last Updated: 11/03/22 11:06am

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Naomi Schiff sits down with Lewis Hamilton to discuss his relationship with Max Verstappen. Watch the full interview during our coverage of the Bahrain GP.

Naomi Schiff sits down with Lewis Hamilton to discuss his relationship with Max Verstappen. Watch the full interview during our coverage of the Bahrain GP.

Lewis Hamilton has told Sky Sports that he and Max Verstappen have a “lot in common” as they are both “ruthless” on track – but he hopes their F1 battles retain “respect” in 2022 after the intensity of last season.

Hamilton and Verstappen’s rivalry well and truly ignited last year with a gripping title fight, littered with collisions and plenty of incident as the Red Bull driver eventually edged the seven-time champion at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP in controversial circumstances.

Hamilton is using the heartbreak of last year to motivate him for a 2022 season full of changes. He sat down with Sky Sports F1’s new pundit Naomi Schiff to discuss his hopes this year as well as Verstappen.

In the exclusive interview – which you can watch in full during our Bahrain GP coverage from March 18-20 – Hamilton insists there isn’t any animosity between him and Max and says they are actually similar in many ways.

“Me and Max, we see each other in the paddock, and things are normal,” Lewis tells Schiff. “We’re two individual drivers.

“We have a lot of common in a sense of how much we love doing what we do and driving, then on the other side we’re ruthless. He is ruthless, I am.

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In a clip from Season Four of Drive to Survive on Netflix, Lewis Hamilton says he feels he has always had a

In a clip from Season Four of Drive to Survive on Netflix, Lewis Hamilton says he feels he has always had a

“That’s what you have to be in, I would imagine business, but hopefully with a bit of compassion.

“We are fighters out there, there’s no friends on track. It’s like when you go skiing, there’s no friends out there.”

Hamilton and Verstappen crashed heavily three times last year – in Silverstone, Monza and Saudi Arabia – and had many other controversial battles. The Englishman added: “Some days we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong.

“But I think what’s really important is that we’re human beings and that we do keep respect.”

Hamilton, who is hoping to make history with an eighth world title this year as Mercedes look to ace the new regulations with their W13 car, also opened up on the polarising opinion from fans of him versus Verstappen.

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Lewis Hamilton takes to the track in his radical new-look Mercedes at Bahrain pre-season testing.

Lewis Hamilton takes to the track in his radical new-look Mercedes at Bahrain pre-season testing.

“Of course there’s so many nice comments and then there’s trolling, all these different things that people experience,” said Hamilton.

“If I had sat and read all the comments after Silverstone – the racial abuse – I could have downward spiralled to a negative place.

“I just don’t let that volatile medium control my life. You’ve got to be careful because obviously the way the media try to hype up the drama also creates a narrative for fans.”

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