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Hamilton aiming to keep Verstappen battle clean: I've done well to avoid him so far

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton wants to keep the battle between him and Red Bull's Max Verstappen as clean as possible, pointing to his mentality being more forward-thinking.

Lewis Hamilton is aiming to keep the on-track battles with Max Verstappen as clean as possible throughout 2021, as their championship fight ramps up. The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers have directly raced each other in all four Grand Prix so far this season, with contact barely avoided in first corner incidents at Imola and Spain. Asked whether contact between the pair is inevitable in light of their battle, Hamilton said he's hoping that it doesn't come to that. "No, I think I've done well to avoid all the incidents so far!" Hamilton said when asked about the possiblity by RacingNews365.com. "We've got 19 more to go and we could connect? Hopefully not. I think the good thing is there is a nice balanced amount of respect between us." With Hamilton racing in his 15th season in Formula 1 and aiming for his eighth World Championship, he's up against a much more inexperienced driver in Max Verstappen. The reigning Champion pointed to his own experience as explaining why he might be a little more cautious in wheel to wheel racing than the Dutch driver. "I think perhaps he feels he has a lot to prove," Hamilton said. "I'm not necessarily in the same boat there. So I'm more long term 'it's a marathon, not a sprint' sort of mentality, which is ultimately why I have the stats that I have. "So I'll continue with that and do everything to make sure that we avoid connecting."

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