Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monaco, 2021

Verstappen brushes off “clickbait” questions over contact with Hamilton

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen insisted he has “nothing to prove” in his championship fight with Lewis Hamilton and gave short shrift to questions over whether contact between the pair is inevitable.

The Red Bull driver was asked about McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown’s recent remark that the two title rivals are likely to collide at some point this year, and hand an opportunity to his team.

Hamilton responded to similar questions by claiming Verstappen has more to prove in their championship fight, a view the Red Bull driver rejected.

“No, I have nothing to prove,” he said. “And avoiding contact, I think it goes both ways.

“So we have done well, that’s true. We race hard, we avoided the contact, both sides. So let’s hope we can keep doing that and keep being on track and race hard against each other.”

Report: Hamilton had an “easy ride” before Verstappen rivalry – Brown
Asked a second time later in the conference about Brown’s comments, Verstappen answered: “I honestly don’t know what to say any more about these things. We never try to crash, do we?

“So it’s just to make a few interesting headlines like that. I guess it will have a bit more viewers when you say it’s a matter of time, then instead of saying we had some great races so far, people will, of course, clickbait that more.”

Sebastian Vettel, who fought against Hamilton for the championship in 2017 and 2018, said it’s easy to underestimate how possible it is for collisions to occur when drivers are fighting over positions.

“I think one thing that you don’t see – or people outside, I think journalists don’t seem to understand – is how close it is sometimes and how easily things can go wrong without having any intention.

“Like Max says, I think nobody goes into an overtake, nobody wants to take the other car out or himself out because the risk of getting it wrong is just so high. But then you want to get past sometimes or defend your position and then you’re playing with very little margins and it’s taking so little to get it wrong.”

The fact Hamilton and Verstappen have avoided contact so far “shows the class that they both have”, said Verstappen.

“So I don’t know why, I don’t see why you are so excited to wait for a crash. I think you should be so excited that they managed to race that close and intense without crashing. I think that’s the skill, not crashing.

“I know for you it’s more exciting when there’s bits flying. But for us actually I think we get a blast by being right on that edge and mastering that.”

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2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Verstappen brushes off “clickbait” questions over contact with Hamilton”

  1. Lol, as if the driver who didn’t park his car in the barrier has anything to prove.
    As if keeping up with clearly superior material is not proof enough, right?

    Portugal 1.17,9 on yellow tires in q2…….and still trying to deflect the favorite tag

    1. Speaking of barriers, Monaco and Verstappen have a quite a bit of history there, you know.

      1. @rockgod isn’t that where he was christened “Wallslappen” a couple of years ago trying to get pole over Ricciardo?

    2. You’re just deliberately trying to drag as many threads into the gutter by wanting to cause pointless bickering about “my driver is better than your driver”, aren’t you?

      Please stop this sort of behaviour – it really ruins the site for everyone, and we could do with a lot less of this sort of troublemaking.

      1. He’s the same person commenting under a different name.

  2. He has everything to prove. He’s 7 years in and has nothing to show for it except for a few wins. He is Coulthard until he isn’t. Except for the fact that Coulthard had good teammates and our spoiled little Max has had only lapdogs.

    1. Well, it depends on what ambitions he has. He no longer has to prove that he can be a race-winning F1 driver. I really wonder how ambitious he is – I would suspect that he’d like to be world champion, so he’ll have to proceed that he can do that when his car is good enough. Like this year.

      1. His car is not good enough. If it wasn’t for the early overtake in Barcelona Hamilton and Mercedes would have vanished in the distance. Now in the lead Max could not pull a greater delta than 1-2 secs no matter how hard he tried.

        1. “His car is not good enough”

          No ..he has the fastest car. Same as Ferrari in 17, 18 and 19.

          1. Stevan Vasiljević
            20th May 2021, 5:56

            Ferrari was faster in 2017 and 2019 only on some tracks, and in late 2019 not at all. In 2018 it was on par in the first half of the season, but in the last few races Mercedes was simply faster. Some driver more composed then Vettel maybe could have made bigger points margin in the first half of the season to be in the fight for the championship until the last race. Vettel knew Ferrari was a bit slower by the German GP, hence his frustration from crashing out. He knew it was his last chance to stay in the fight, and it slipped away. But he only has himself to blame.

        2. @petterson His car is not good enough ? Data shows Max has the best car, Max simply lacks the skill to take car of his tyres and anything else really. But i see lots of excuses are made for Max now that Hamilton came out ontop, in Spain Max had the fastest car, in Portugal as well, Imola too, Bahrain too and he only has one victory because of luck.

    2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      19th May 2021, 18:20

      Ah yes, the couch-experts come out in force whenever Verstappen says something.

      He’s 7 years in and has nothing to show for it except for a few wins

      There’s this thing called ‘the car’, that actually has to be good enough to win a title with. Maybe you’ve seen them?

      1. Just ask Mansell

    3. 46 podiums with 11 wins at age 23. Coulthard was 23 when he started racing in f1.

    4. Absolutely pathetic comparison, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: verstappen is more like schumacher than couldthard, coulthard is more like bottas or barrichello, hope you get the idea.

      1. @esploratore Max has not yet the guile, nor the charisma of Senna, but I do believe that’s where my comparisons are heading.

        Now Max truly is on the ragged edge, once he reigns in the minor errors, his single lap prowess is on that level.

        So, much like Lewis then…

  3. Verstappen has more to achieve still in terms of records on paper, probably a less problematic way of putting it. ‘Proving’ anything is relative and in the case of leading sportspeople like Max is more likely to be about proving something to himself – he sets his own standards or goals.

  4. Also people who predicted verstappen would answer he has nothing to prove were right, I agree with it too.

  5. I don’t bother watching video interviews, but from what I’ve seen he’s handling the pressure of fighting for the championship superbly, calm and collected, maybe even more than when Vettel was fighting Hamilton

  6. Zak just wants Hamilton and Verstappen to crash so Norris or Ricciardo will have a shot at winning ;-)

    Reply moderated
  7. He has nothing to prove? How about winning the championship this year in the quickest car or even getting on the podium in Monaco. He twice had the car to win in Monaco and both times made mistakes.

    1. @amg44 Max is arrogant as hell but has nothing to back it, he has the best car and still trails Lewis in the WDC.

      1. Yes, Lewis is King. No one can come close. All others have better material than Lewis, but still cant beat him. And more importantly, if you root for Lewis, Max must be labelled bad. Very important. Since it is not about enjoying the sport, but about shouting about opponents. Soccer audience

  8. One would hope that Max would like to prove that he could win a world championship.

    1. @ferrox-glideh True but this dude is compared to be on Lewis’s level constantly despite never showed anything special to be on Lewis’s level. He beat a bunch no name teammates like Albon and Gasly who are absolutely nobodies and people think he’s on Hamilton’d level, laughable.

      1. To be fair, he did well against Ricciardo, who is no slouch, and he is doing pretty well against Hamilton in an inferior car.

  9. Lewis is a master at baiting.
    Release that pressure.

  10. Max has the quickest car. People and media making all kinds of excuses for Max it, had Lewis not be there than Max would have won all four races this year, it’s that simple. Max underperformed you can say, data also backs the Red Bull being the faster car but Max simply can’t handle his tyres, he’s just a fast driver, that’s it. All excuses getting old now.

    1. Yes, Lewis is King. No one can come close. All others have better material than Lewis, but still cant beat him. And more importantly, if you root for Lewis, Max must be labelled bad. Very important. Since it is not about enjoying the sport, but about shouting about opponents. Soccer audience

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