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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton wants drivers to be respectful on radio after Verstappen outburst

Max Verstappen was heard calling Lewis Hamilton a "stupid idiot" over team radio during free practice at the United States Grand Prix. Hamilton himself tries to avoid these kinds of messages, as he feels they aren't suitable for younger fans of the sport.

Hamilton Verstappen USA
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton believes that F1 drivers should think more carefully about what they say over team radio, given that young children may be watching.

The seven-time World Champion was labelled a "stupid idiot" by Max Verstappen during free practice at the United States Grand Prix, with Verstappen also raising his middle finger at his title rival following a run-in on track.

Hamilton himself says that he tries to be respectful in his radio messages, and thinks that some other drivers need to remember that they are often role models for youngsters following the sport.

"I've been here for a long time, so this isn't my first rodeo," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.com. "But I think at the core of everything has to be respect.

"When I think about and I hear the things that come out of drivers' mouths, I do think about young kids watching us.

"There are kids watching us and they're looking at us for inspiration and for guidance. There has been a lot of things that have been said which is definitely not good for young kids that are watching.

"For me, I try to just remain positive and keep calm and again be respectful to the drivers I'm fighting, regardless. If I have a name in my head of what I think they are, I don't share that.

"But it's pretty easy for me, you laugh it off and you move forwards."

Hamilton understands 'pressure' on Verstappen

The calm approach that Hamilton tries to take with his radio communications appears to extend to his general perspective on the title fight with Verstappen, with their on-track tussles seemingly not affecting him too greatly.

Having been in the position of challenging for a first Formula 1 World Championship himself in the past, Hamilton says that he had not expected anything else from Verstappen in terms of how the Red Bull driver has approached the battle.

"I have been here a long time," Hamilton explained. "[I've] learned a lot in my time.

"Also I know that Max has not won a championship in a long, long, long time, so I know what it's like going for your first championship, particularly in this sport.

"I know the pressures that come with that, and so it's nothing less than I expected from him. Plus he's still a youngster, and he's going to be growing a huge amount over the next decade, which I think everyone will be excited to see.

"So [I] just try and, if I can, lead by example. Because as I said, I know that I have a lot of youngsters, particularly, that are racing, that are looking at what I do and what I say, and that's important to me."

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