Max Verstappen says criticism from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel over his driving shows he has gotten into their heads ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton and Vettel both said Verstappen is the most aggressive driver on the grid and that they race him differently to others following the Mexican Grand Prix, where the championship leader claimed he was “torpedoed” by the Dutchman at the start. Verstappen was asked about the comments ahead of this weekend’s race in Austin and said he believes them to be inaccurate but shows he has an effect on his rivals.
“Well, looking at Turns 1 and 2 in Mexico, I don’t think that happened,” Verstappen said. “From my side it was a bit of a silly comment to make. I think I’m always a hard racer but fair. I think it’s just not correct – but of course it’s easy to have a dig at someone.
“I think from my side it only shows that I’m in their heads and I guess that’s a good thing, but I don’t need to dig in to other people in the press conferences because first of all I think it’s a bit disrespectful, and I prefer to fight on track, which I love to do. Of course I like to fight hard but on the edge.
“If they want me to stay behind, it’s better to stay at home. I really want to take the fight to them because that’s what we are here for. We are racers, we in Formula 1, I think we are the best out there, and we do fight for victories because that’s what I live for.”