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Start Abu Dhabi GP
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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton on how his 'horrendous' first title fight differs to Verstappen's

Max Verstappen is in contention for his first World Championship in Formula 1. His rival, Lewis Hamilton, claimed his first title back in 2008, but admits that it wasn't necessarily the most pleasant journey.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton feels that Max Verstappen is much better prepared for his first F1 title fight than he was, with the Briton calling his maiden World Championship "horrendous".

After narrowly missing out on the championship in his rookie year in the sport in 2007, Hamilton clinched the title in 2008 whilst contesting his second season for McLaren.

This was also a closely-fought battle; many fans will recall the memorable final race in Brazil, where Felipe Massa initially looked to have taken the crown, before Hamilton's overtake on Timo Glock on the last lap resulted in Hamilton becoming World Champion.

Reflecting on this now, Hamilton thinks that his lack of experience made this a more difficult experience than that facing Verstappen this season.

"I don't spend a moment thinking what might or what might not be a distraction for him, that doesn't bother me either way," Hamilton told Sky Sports.

"If I do my job to the best of my abilities, I don't have a problem. That's how I approach my job.

"My first title? It was horrendous. The journey was terrible, but he's what, six years in? I was in my second year.

"I didn't have a great structure around me in terms of management, I didn't have help to know how to handle all these curveballs sent at me.

"I didn't have all the experience, I didn't have all the tools – except the ones in the car – but I was learning all these other tools in order to how to be a great teammate, work with a group of people and help them elevate, and all these kind of things. Which was different for me then."

Despite the struggles he faced during this time, Hamilton appreciates how these experiences have helped him to grow.

"I'm grateful I've had the experiences," the seven-time World Champion said. "I know how to build my team, I know how to win with my team and I know how to enjoy the ups and downs with my team."

Hamilton remains in the fight for his eighth title, but currently trails Verstappen in the standings by 12 points with five races remaining.

Video: Exclusive footage from the new F1 circuit in Saudi Arabia

F1 will head to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2021, and RacingNews365.com recently paid a visit to the spectacular Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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