Lewis Hamilton: ‘Listen to the words certain individuals say about me’

Lewis Hamilton has won seven world championships during his time in Formula 1, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Lewis Hamilton came just a single lap away from his record breaking eighth world championship in 2021, and with this in mind, the 37-year-old is set to sign a multi-year contract extension with Mercedes as he looks to become the outright most successful driver in F1 history.

Hamilton’s battles with Max Verstappen in 2021 made for spectacular viewing, with the pair colliding, forcing each other off the track and even brake checking as the title race went right down to the wire.

The Dutchman’s battles with Charles Leclerc in 2022 have been much more respectful, with impressive, clean racing being displayed pretty much every time the two drivers have gone wheel to wheel.

This is a stark contrast to the way Verstappen chooses to battle with Hamilton, and the seven-time world champion believes that his success in F1 has made him a target for some of the other drivers.

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“All you have to do it listen to the words certain individuals say about me, competitor wise. And then look back at the way those individuals behave on track around me,” said the 37-year-old.

“It shows you it’s a bit different to others. I can’t explain exactly why but part of it, I’m sure, is due to the time I’ve had here, the experience I’ve had, the success I’ve had.

“I know because when I came to the sport, that target was on someone else who’d had success and my goal was to challenge them. You almost wanted to show how tough you were, show how good you are compared that person.”

Fans were treated to another explosive episode in the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen in Sao Paulo, as Mercedes finally provided Hamilton with a car capable of competing with the Red Bull driver.

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The pair collided in the Senna S section of the circuit, and while Verstappen picked up a five-second penalty for the incident, Hamilton suggested that it is just what he has come to expect from the Dutchman.

Strangely, Verstappen seemed to admit he allowed the contact to happen, suggesting that he knew Hamilton would not give him room so he just chose to carry on and take the contact, as he had nothing to fight for that race.

Fans will hope that the Silver Arrows return to their top form next season, so they can be treated to more box office entertainment when the pair inevitably go wheel to wheel once again.