MAX VERSTAPPEN has claimed that his on-track spats with Lewis Hamilton must be down to “a generation thing.”
The Red Bull driver and Hamilton have come together on a number of occasions in the past two season’s.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have crashed several times in the last two yearsCredit: Splash
But Verstappen believes his clashes with Hamilton are “a generation thing”Credit: Getty
However, the Dutchman – one of five drivers facing a controversial ban in 2023 – has revealed he is not sure what the reason is for this.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Verstappen was asked whether incidents were down to his “uncompromising” racing style.
In response, he said: “Well, I have to be careful what I’m saying here, but 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.
“Like, this year, ok we haven’t really had a lot of battles. But Brazil we got together – it was not my intention (that we crashed). I got the blame for it, which I didn’t find fair.
“If it would’ve been more of a racing incident that I could live with.
“But… I don’t understand. Maybe it’s just a generation thing – that we understand each other better, we are racing nicer to each other. I don’t get it.
“But I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different to Lewis or to the other drivers in terms of how we’re racing.”
Hamilton endured his worst-ever season of F1 racing last season after failing to land a single race victory as Verstappen went on to win the drivers championship for the second year in a row.
The first of these championships are arguably when the rivalry was most intense, with Hamilton being overtaken on the final lap of the 2021 season under very controversial circumstances.
But Verstappen doubled-down on his generational theory by using Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell for reference.
He added: “The day before with George (in the Interlagos sprint race where Russell attacked and passed Verstappen), we were having an incredible (fight) – closing the door, defending, out-braking each other.
“That was a lot of fun and I was trying to do the same in the main race – having that kind of battle. But, unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work.”
Russell, 24, went on to win the main race in Brazil when Hamilton and Verstappen collided.
But Verstappen insists he does not have the same issues with George RussellCredit: AFP
Verstappen and Russell battled during F1 sprint in BrazilCredit: AFP
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The Brit was pictured partying into the New Year alongside one of Hamilton’s previous nemesis – Fernando Alonso – and girlfriend Carmen Montero Mundt.
Two-time champ Alonso was beaten by Verstappen and Hamilton in the F1 driver’s earning’s list.
Regarding his feeling to speak “carefully” about Hamilton, Verstappen said: “In England this can very quickly be received as criticism.
“And then I’m being called out on it.
“I always respect Lewis a lot for what he has achieved in the sport, but that’s why I don’t really understand why we cannot really race like I’ve been doing with the others.
“Of course, everyone is different in their approach. I know that Charles (Leclerc) is a bit different to George, or to Carlos (Sainz) or to Checo (Perez), or whoever.
“I do have to be a little bit more careful with that because immediately it’s really taken as criticism. And then people start to hate on you. Well, that’s not my intention.”
Verstappen and Red Bull previously “boycott Sky Sports” after reporter Ted Kravitz implied Hamilton was “robbed” of an eighth world title by Verstappen.