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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton: Much more enjoyable racing Verstappen than a 'selfish' teammate

Lewis Hamilton has explained why he much prefers racing an opponent from a different team than having an internal battle at Mercedes.

Hamilton Verstappen
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has explained why he much prefers the fact that he's racing against an opponent at a different team this season, rather than an internal battle at Mercedes.

With Hamilton currently trailing Red Bull's Max Verstappen by 32 points in the Driver's Championship, the British driver knows that he can count on the support of teammate Valtteri Bottas. This is a very different situation to a few seasons ago, when Hamilton went to war with teammate Nico Rosberg, and he explained that he much prefers the dynamic of racing an external opponent.

"[It]is much more enjoyable," Hamilton told the official Formula 1 YouTube channel.

"I think when you're having an internal battle, because this sport is it's different to other sports, right? If you look at football, everyone's working towards the same goal.

"This sports kind of confused because you have to drive two championships, you have a team championship, where the two drivers are hired to score points for the team to win the championship..that's the priority.

"And then individually, you have the two drivers that selfishly want to win the championship. So you've got this, this battle of tension. And yeah, when you're working against the guy opposite you, it's much different to working with that person and fighting another team. And that's what makes.. I feel that that makes better racing. That makes the championship more exciting when it's a team against team rather than internal."

With Hamilton racing against Verstappen for the title, he compared it to the last external fight he had back in 2018 when Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel mounted a strong title challenge.

"I feel like we had this sort of battle with, if I'm honest, it feels very similar to what we had with Vettel and Ferrari," Hamilton explained.

"And maybe it's even closer than that. When you're growing up, and you're in karting, you have these wheel to wheel battles every day, every weekend.

"So it's great to see that we were having these close, tight knit battles. Those guys are a little bit ahead at the moment. And so we've got a massive challenge to try and just make sure we bring maximum.. capitalise on any of their weak moments if they ever have any. And really just trying to extract the best of each and every single one of us in the team."

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