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Max Verstappen

Newey feels Verstappen was 'branded' amid Hamilton rivalry

Adrian Newey has praised Max Verstappen for being "easy to work with", and defended the Dutchman for certain moments in his 2021 title battle with Lewis Hamilton.

Newey Verstappen
To news overview © XPB Images

Adrian Newey feels that Max Verstappen was "branded" following certain incidents in his 2021 championship fight with Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen and Hamilton shared a tense rivalry during the campaign, with the two drivers colliding on more than one occasion.

Newey has praised Verstappen in terms of the ease of working with him, and also defended him against any suggestions of his driving style being "wild".

"What's great about Max is you always know what the car's capable of because he always gets in it and wrings its neck," the Red Bull designer told The Race.

"His feedback is good, he's very aware of what the tyres are doing and how to manage them. I think his reputation for being wild is unfair."

Newey on Verstappen/Hamilton battle

Newey believes that Verstappen was judged unfairly by some during his rivalry with Hamilton, with one of the incidents he highlighted being their controversial first-lap clash at the British Grand Prix .

Verstappen crashed out of the race and was taken to hospital for checks following the accident, while Hamilton was handed a 10-second time penalty but went on to win the event.

"Probably what he did in Brazil last year was a bit naughty. Saudi was silly but I think he got frustrated with Lewis not overtaking him but he still shouldn’t have brake-tested him," Newey said of Verstappen.

"But Silverstone to me was a clear professional foul [by Hamilton] and people seem to have a short memory. They brand an individual and it takes time for that to go.

"He's very easy to work with, very open. You ask him to do things and he'll always try."

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