Hamilton ‘not giving energy’ to potential Verstappen clash

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Hamilton ‘not giving energy’ to potential Verstappen clash

Formula 1

Hamilton ‘not giving energy’ to potential Verstappen clash


Lewis Hamilton says he is not focusing on the hypothetical situation of the drivers’ championship being decided by a collision with Max Verstappen at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

FIA race director Michael Masi reminded the grid in his pre-race event notes that he could dock championship points if he feels any driver behaves “in an unsportsmanlike manner” or attempts “to influence the result of a competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.” The message comes amid speculation of how Verstappen will approach the title decider, as he would become world champion if both drivers fail to score, but Hamilton isn’t thinking about such a scenario.

“I can’t control those things around me, all I can do is control what I do in terms of preparation and how I conduct myself,” Hamilton said.

“Honestly, I don’t give it any energy. I’m here to do the best job I can with this incredible team. We never thought we’d be neck and neck going into the last race — we’ve had an amazing recovery as a team, we’ve been in a great position these last few races. We go full steam ahead with that focus and we don’t waste energy on things outside of our control.

“I’m here for a great race; we’re arriving on a positive. We got the car in a great place, they won here last year, so without doubt they’re going to be strong this weekend. We’ve chased and caught up a lot — I think we can be strong this weekend.

“I do believe everyone here racing comes to win. I would like to believe everyone would like to do it the right way, so I don’t even let that creep into my mind.”

As the two title contenders sat alongside each other, Hamilton also played down his radio message from Sunday when he called Verstappen “f***ing crazy” after their collision that earned the Dutchman a penalty, saying he could be described in the same terms himself.

“Honestly, when we’re in the races we’ll say all sorts of things, in the heat of the moment — adrenaline is firing, emotions are on edge. I’d say that’s a figure of speech. I think as racing drivers we’re all a bit crazy to do what we do and take the risks we do.”