Lewis Hamilton dismisses Max Verstappen ‘grudge’, suggests reason for lack of respect

Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen engaged in a slugfest for the world championship last season.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has insisted that he has no grudge against Max Verstappen after the controversial finish to last year’s championship battle.

The pair went into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix level on points after 21 exhilarating rounds, and it was the seven-time champion who looked well on course for his eighth.

While he was leading, the Safety Car was deployed after Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barrier, allowing Verstappen to pit for fresh tyres.

The Dutchman would then capitalise on a bizarre restart by race director, Michael Masi, to claim his maiden world title.

READ: Max Verstappen makes surprising claim about title fight with Charles Leclerc

The 24-year-old had taken advantage of a situation created by the disgraced race director, who has since been removed from his position and has left the FIA.

Hamilton was absent from the public eye over the winter as he tried to digest what had happened to him, and he returned to a Mercedes car that has struggled under the new technical regulations.

Neither he nor George Russell have won a race in the misbehaving W13, while Verstappen is now set to earn his second consecutive world title.

However, there is no needle between two of the greatest drivers ever to grace the grid, with Hamilton insisting that he has no issues with his counterpart.

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“There is nothing left over between Max and I, Max did his duty last year and I have zero problems with him,” he said.

“There’s quite a few years between us so probably out of the car there wasn’t that mutual respect, but there are no hard feelings.”

READ: Lewis Hamilton denies ‘obsession’ as ‘hungrier’ George Russell told he can beat him

“It is at the top of the pyramid, and the work done at the base this year is about getting to the top again.”

Verstappen won 10 races in 2021, and he has already surpassed that with 11 in what has been an utterly dominant 2022 campaign for the reigning champion.

If he does not get the title wrapped up in Singapore this weekend, he almost certainly will do so in Japan the week after.