Lewis Hamilton fans throw Max Verstappen’s praise in his face

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton clashed several times when battling for the 2021 drivers' championship.

It’s been almost two years since Lewis Hamilton’s and Max Verstappen’s epic title fight, with the duo having pushed each other to the absolute limit.

2021 was certainly a season like no other, with endless emotion and passion having been on display for the world to see.

Hamilton was pushing for an unprecedented eighth title, whilst Verstappen was targeting his first, resulting in the pair often going beyond their limit, to find that extra edge.

As a result, they clashed several times both on and off the track, most notably at Silverstone, Monza and Saudi Arabia.

READ: Mark Webber makes Fernando Alonso retirement prediction

Their titanic battle was, of course, determined through the controversial handling of the 2021 season finale, where Verstappen claimed his first of two titles.

Whilst we are now in 2023, 2021 is still spoken about more than even last season, highlighting the impact that season still has on the minds of so many fans in particular.

Verstappen and Hamilton fans continue to clash to this very day, despite the fact the duo are arguably no longer on-track rivals, at least not until Mercedes find a cure to their lacklustre W14.

Mercedes spent the bulk of 2022 comfortably behind Red Bull, with a similar story looking likely for 2023, given that Hamilton finished 51 seconds behind Verstappen at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Article continues below

A Hamilton/Verstappen rivalry is therefore unlikely this season, unless Mercedes perform a miracle.

However, the dynamic between the duo has actually changed since 2021, with Verstappen in particular having recently spoken very openly about his relationship with Hamilton, which he personally doesn’t believe it “difficult” at all.

“I don’t think we have a difficult relationship at all. It’s just that with others you have a closer relationship,” Verstappen told Daily Mail.

“It depends to an extent on how you live your life, and perhaps we are not similar in that regard.”

The reigning world champion actually has a lot of respect for the seven-time world champion, and even admitted that the Mercedes star is “so talented”.

“He has stood up when he needed to and made the difference,” Verstappen added.

“Consistency is his key, and staying on top of his game. That is not so hard when you are so talented; it doesn’t take a lot of effort to do that. The way he has managed his championships is very impressive.”

READ: ‘Too talented to be doing this s***!’ Red Bull urged to replace Sergio Perez with Daniel Ricciardo

A group of Hamilton fans, though, took Verstappen’s praise with a pinch of salt, with many questioning if the Dutchman’s supporters are expecting them to “praise” the Red Bull driver.

“Are Verstappen fans actually expecting us to praise Max for saying obvious things?” asked @fastpitstop on Twitter

“We all know Lewis Hamilton is one of if not the best F1 driver. Max didn’t invent the wheel by discovering that.”