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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton explains how he tries to understand Verstappen's character

Lewis Hamilton has developed an in-depth approach to racing against drivers such as Max Verstappen.

Verstappen Hamilton
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton admits that he tries to understand his competitors by taking an in-depth look at their character and background, something he has applied to his battle with Max Verstappen.

The Briton remains in a fight with Verstappen for the 2021 F1 World Championship, with the Red Bull driver currently leading in the standings by eight points with a further two races remaining.

Hamilton, at 36, has more experience in the sport than Verstappen, and says he has developed a way of studying the likes of the Dutchman throughout his career.

"He's not the only driver I've raced against that's like this," Hamilton told the BBC.

"I've raced so many drivers in my time and they've all been very different in the way they behave. And it's interesting.

"Now I'm older, I look a little bit deeper into their character and a bit of their background, upbringing. Our upbringing is why we act out the way we do and behave the way we do, good or bad.

"So I try to understand those so I can have more appreciation of who that character is I am racing with."

The influence of Hamilton's background

Hamilton himself understands how a person's past can influence their behaviour in the present.

The Mercedes driver thinks that his experiences of being bullied as a child, as well as the parenting of his father, has had an impact on how he approaches racing, with his aim being to do his talking through his driving.

"It's just how my dad raised me," Hamilton said. "He said to always do your talking on the track.

"I was bullied as a kid, both at school but also on track, and we wanted to beat them the right way, not by a car falling off or colliding with a car.

"Then there is no denying that you're better. If you have collisions, they can say, 'Oh, yeah, but this happened, this is one tactic that that driver has'.

"I want to be the purest of drivers, through speed, through sheer hard work and determination, so there's no denying at the end what I've accomplished."

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