Lewis Hamilton backtracks on Max Verstappen comment

Lewis Hamilton lost the 2021 World Championship to Max Verstappen on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has opened up on his relationship with double World Champion Max Verstappen, with the seven-time World Champion admitting that he has no “problems” with the Dutchman, despite what people think.

Hamilton and Verstappen formed an immense rivalry in 2021, with the duo having fought across the 22-round season for the world title.

Both drivers were on the brink of something very different but equally important, with Hamilton having been on the verge of an unprecedented eighth World Championship, whilst Verstappen was close to his first.

There was next to nothing separating Red Bull and Mercedes, resulting in the on-track action being unbelievably close.

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On the odd occasion, the racing between the duo was too close, with the pair having collided on multiple occasions in 2021.

The tension between the two ultimately exploded at the penultimate round in Saudi Arabia, where Hamilton accused Verstappen of brake testing him.

At that race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, their rivalry turned dark and bitter, something which was displayed at the season finale.

The pair locked-out the front-row, with Hamilton having gone on to lead into Turn One.

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He led the vast majority of the race until the final lap, when Verstappen overtook the Brit following the controversial handling of the late Safety Car to clear Nicholas Latifi’s crashed Williams.

The blame on that day was fully on race director Michael Masi and not either driver, who both gave their all throughout the season.

Despite 2021 being two years ago, people continue to discuss Hamilton’s and Verstappen’s rivalry and how aggressive it was.

Hamilton, though, hasn’t got a problem with the 25-year-old despite what some believe; however, he “can’t speak” for Verstappen on the matter.

“People like to talk about there being problems between Max and me,” Hamilton told Formula 1 Magazine.

“I respect him,” Hamilton added. 

“He is a lot younger, so maybe he has a problem with me.

“But I am not sure about that and I actually assume not. Although I can’t speak for him.”

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Hamilton doesn’t understand the reasoning for people believing that the duo have a problem, with the Mercedes driver questioning “why” he should have an issue with the Dutchman.

“He did everything he had to do in 2021, so why should I have a problem with him?” Hamilton said. 

“He performed and delivered every weekend, nobody can take that away from him.”