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Verstappen denies having 'difficult relationship' with Hamilton

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went head-to-head in a famously tense championship battle in 2021, but the Red Bull driver insists that the pair share "a lot of respect".

Max Verstappen does not believe that he has a "difficult relationship" with Lewis Hamilton, despite their tense rivalry during the 2021 title battle. The fight between Verstappen and Hamilton for the World Championship featured many controversial moments, with the pair colliding on more than one occasion. It was Verstappen who went on to win the title in the controversial final laps of the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. However, the Dutchman feels that his relationship with Hamilton is "straightforward", though acknowledges that he has closer relationships with other drivers on the grid.

Verstappen on relationship with Hamilton

"I don't think we have a difficult relationship at all," Verstappen told the Daily Mail . "It is quite straightforward. It's just that with others you have a closer relationship. It depends to an extent on how you live your life, and perhaps we are not similar in that regard. "Of course, we had a big rivalry in 2021 but ultimately we do have a lot of respect for each other."

Verstappen won't deny Hamilton's talent

Verstappen has praised Hamilton's ability to stay at the "top of his game", with the Briton having equalled Michael Schumacher's record of seven World Championships in the sport. "He is definitely up there as one of the greatest drivers ever," Verstappen commented. "I have no need or desire to deny that. Consistency is his key, and staying on top of his game. "That is not so hard when you are so talented; it doesn't take a lot of effort to do that. "The way he has managed his championships is very impressive. He has stood up when he needed to and made the difference." Verstappen and Hamilton are currently experiencing contrasting fortunes in F1; while Verstappen led a dominant Red Bull 1-2 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton and Mercedes' struggles continued, with the seven-time World Champion ending the race in P5.

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying