Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen analysed by Coulthard
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Max Verstappen has declared that Lewis Hamilton will be ‘nervous’ when the two Drivers’ Championship rivals go head-to-head for glory in Sunday’s title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Dutchman, who is level on points with his Mercedes rival at the top of the standings, will start the race from pole position after an immense lap in Saturday’s final qualifying session.
He finished comfortably ahead of second-placed Hamilton after being given a tow by his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez on his first Q3 run.
The 23-year-old will be desperate to wrap up an excellent year by clinching the end-of-season honours with another stunning performance in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen will simply need to better Hamilton’s result in order to emerge victorious and get his hands on the coveted Drivers’ Championship trophy for the very first time.
He does not appear to be feeling the pressure despite the gravity of the situation, insisting that Hamilton will be the one to sweat when the stakes are at their highest after the race gets underway.
When quizzed on whether he feels the Brit will be fearful going into Sunday’s decisive contest, Verstappen told De Telegraaf: “He will never admit that. At least I’m not afraid of him.
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“Yeah, I think I’ll make him nervous if he sees me in his mirrors. He’s a different driver than me, less aggressive. He doesn’t know how to race like I do.
“I can’t blame him for that either, because he was never able to learn that like I did from my father.”
Verstappen has been widely criticised throughout the build-up to Sunday’s race as a result of his aggressive displays behind the wheel in recent weeks.
He was given a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision with Hamilton after he was deemed to have brake-tested his rival at last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
However, the Red Bull man has not been deterred by the views of others ahead of this weekend’s crucial championship decider.
He went on to suggest that although he does not want to collide with Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, he will be doing everything in his power to come out on top when the chequered flag drops.
“I don’t want to take him out, I want to beat him, that’s another wording,” added Verstappen.
“Some people find me aggressive, others very aggressive and some people don’t. I think I am myself.
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“The last races I have to defend more, because we are a bit slower. I don’t have the luxury of checking a lead or driving away now.
“And yes, I do everything I can to win. If I don’t think like that, I’d better stay home.
“If I hadn’t had that attitude, we wouldn’t be here with an equal number of points, he would already be the champion.”
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