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Max Verstappen

Chandhok: 'Clear difference' in how Verstappen races Hamilton and Leclerc

In this year's title battle, Max Verstappen has shown how differently he races drivers who he came through the ranks with, compared to Lewis Hamilton, according to F1 pundit Karun Chandhok.

Leclerc Verstappen France
To news overview © XPB

There has been a noticeable difference with Max Verstappen in 2022 compared to the previous year fighting for the championship.

When racing with Lewis Hamilton he was a lot more aggressive, the pair often clashing on track as a result of their hard-fought battles.

But this year it has been different with Charles Leclerc, who for the first time in his F1 career was challenging for the title with Ferrari. Despite their history that dates back to karting, both drivers were willing to give each other enough space to race.

Damon Hill has previously observed how Verstappen has been less 'feisty' and fellow Sky Sports F1 pundit, Karun Chandhok, believes this is down to him not feeling the pressure to assert himself.

"I think there's a clear difference there. Lewis is the king of the castle and has been for this generation," he said in their end of season review show. "Max felt that he had to assert himself again to Lewis and knock him off the throne.

"Whereas he sees George, Charles and Carlos as his peers and he's not trying to knock them off the throne, which is why I think he races them differently."

Saudi Arabia 'the perfect example' of differences

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix provided a unique insight into how differently Verstappen has raced his rivals this year.

The second race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit was held in March, just months after its inaugural Grand Prix in November last year.

Chandhok added: "Saudi Arabia this year was a fantastic example of that, compare it to last year, which was frankly only a few months before.

"The difference between Lewis and Max there, which was hugely controversial, and Charles and Max this year, it was a superb race - they finished half a second apart, great racing."

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