Max Verstappens blunt response to Lewis Hamilton rivalry question at US Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Championship leader Max Verstappen says he and Lewis Hamilton will act like “professionals” into Turn 1 at the Circuit of Americas, with the two title protagonists lining up alongside each other on Sunday.

Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to pole position on Saturday by 0.2s in a thrilling qualifying session at COTA ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

But Hamilton is no stranger to winning in Austin, with six victories under his belt, while the Dutchman searches for his maiden win in the United States.

However, after their dramatic coming together on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix with Verstappen on pole, many are questioning if both of the drivers will come through the first few corners without any incidents.

When asked about how he would be approaching the start during Saturday’s post-race interviews, Verstappen said: “Like we always try, as professionals. I don’t see why we always have to keep bringing this up.

“It’s not like we are the only ones who have touched, you know, in this sport and these things happen, unfortunately, but I think we are on the front row again and everyone is just expecting a great race and that’s what we also expect, I think, as drivers.

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“We just want to have a really good race.”

Hamilton starts alongside Verstappen on the front row after qualifying in second, sandwiched between two Red Bulls with Sergio Perez starting third.

And with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas down in ninth, Hamilton is hopeful of a clear start.

“Yeah, I hope we’ll make it through Turn 1 and we get a good race,” said Hamilton. “I don’t think it’s all decided on Turn 1.

“It is all fun and games. We are going to have fun and give it everything as you would expect. It is no real difference to any other part of the season.”

The duo have already gone wheel-to-wheel in America in an odd battle during first practice heading down the straight towards Turn 1.

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The 24-year-old branded Hamilton a “stupid idiot” as the pair seemed to battle for position and flicked his middle finger up at him after the pair went wheel-to-wheel at the Circuit of the Americas.

Red Bull race engineer Giampiero Lambiase responded “ignore it, don’t worry about it”.

https://sportslifetale.com/racing/f1/max-verstappens-blunt-response-to-lewis-hamilton-rivalry-question-at-us-grand-prix/

Verstappen then had a second run-in with the two Haas drivers, who seemed unaware of a charging Red Bull is coming up behind them, prompting the pit wall to ask: “Need I ask what happened?”

“I need to buy people glasses,” responded Verstappen.

However, afterwards, Verstappen explained what happened during the Hamilton incident, claiming he wasn’t sure what had gone on.

“I don’t know, we are all lining up to go for our laps so I don’t really understand what happened there,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“Overall, it’s not easy out there, the track is quite bumpy, and to try and find the right compromise with the car hasn’t been the easiest so far.

“But there are a few positive things to look at and we’ll continue to work on that also overnight.

“It didn’t feel particularly bad on the short run, it was just a mess with the traffic.”

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