Max Verstappen compares Charles Leclerc to Lewis Hamilton after British GP fight

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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Max Verstappen has revealed Charles Leclerc is “calmer” than Lewis Hamilton as he compares his two title protagonists. Verstappen enjoyed a clean battle with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at Silverstone a year on from his accident with Hamilton.

Pundits had noted the Dutchman’s battles with Leclerc had been visibly different from his fights with Hamilton. The Red Bull star has appeared more patient at times with the pair enjoying clean battles at several races without making contact.

Meanwhile, the reigning champion collided with Hamilton at three separate races last year including the 51G smash at the British Grand Prix. However, Verstappen stated a major reason behind his cleaner fights was down to the better relationship he has with Leclerc.

He told Channel 4: “I’ve known Charles for a longer time because we basically grew up together throughout racing and go karting, and all the way to Formula 1.

“But I always had [and] still have a lot of respect for Lewis and we always got on well, and also today, you know, as racing drivers, you know you come together but you also very quickly forget and just move on. The amount of times I’ve crashed with Charles in the past, but now we can laugh about it, so it just, you know racing drivers, they of course, look at themselves.

“We want to do everything we can to win a race and I think what is also the positive side about racing is that we can forget very quickly. We’ll just move on and just go to the next. Luckily, you also have a lot of races for that. But yeah, this year, it seems a little bit calmer, and I just hope it stays like that and you can just have a great race.”

Verstappen added that it was not just the drivers where tension had cooled in the 2022 season.

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He said there had been a “different approach” from the teams this season compared to his battle with Hamilton. The Dutchman claimed there was “more respect” between Red Bull and Ferrari than with Mercedes last year.

Hamilton also used Leclerc to hit out at Verstappen’s driving style. The seven-time champion admitted racing Leclerc was “a lot different” to his experience with Verstappen 12 months ago.

He said: “Clearly a lot different to what I experienced last year. Copse, for example, two of us went through their no problem. What a battle.”

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