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Verstappen 'doesn't understand' repeated Hamilton clashes

After several on-track incidents with Lewis Hamilton across 2021 and 2022, Max Verstappen says that he does not understand why so many collisions have happened between himself and the seven-time World Champion.

Max Verstappen has stated that he doesn't understand why there have been several clashes between himself and Lewis Hamilton over the 2021 and 2022 F1 seasons. Most of the collisions took place during the fierce title battle that Verstappen shared with Hamilton in 2021, which included accidents at Silverstone and Monza. There was also a coming-together at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, a race in which Mercedes had one of their strongest performances of the year, with George Russell and Hamilton securing a 1-2 result despite Hamilton's earlier crash with Verstappen. While Verstappen has gone wheel-to-wheel with other drivers during his second championship-winning campaign, none have resulted in clashes like those he has experienced in his fights with Hamilton.

Verstappen: I honestly don't understand

"I have to be careful what I'm saying here, but with everyone I've been fighting this year, it's been really hard, aggressive battles and we never really came together," Verstappen told Autosport . "Somehow, with Lewis it's a different story. And I honestly don't understand. "Like, this year, okay we haven't really had a lot of battles. But Brazil we got together – it was not my intention [that we crashed]. I got the blame for it, which I didn't find fair. If it would've been more of a racing incident that I could live with. "But… I don't understand. Maybe it's just a generation thing – that we understand each other better, we are racing nicer to each other. I don't get it."

Verstappen doesn't see difference in his racing style

While the likes of Damon Hill have previously argued that Verstappen raced Charles Leclerc differently to how he competed against Lewis Hamilton , Verstappen feels that he takes the same approach to whoever he is racing with. He cited his duel with Russell during the Sprint race at Interlagos as an example. "We were having an incredible [fight] – closing the door, defending, out-braking each other," Verstappen said of the battle with Russell. "That was a lot of fun and I was trying to do the same in the main race – having that kind of battle. But, unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work." Verstappen admits that he tries to be cautious with what he says about Hamilton. "In England this can very quickly be received as criticism," the Red Bull driver continued. "And then I'm being called out on it. I always respect Lewis a lot for what he has achieved in the sport, but that's why I don't really understand why we cannot really race like I've been doing with the others. "Of course, everyone is different in their approach. I know that Charles is a bit different to George, or to Carlos [Sainz] or to Checo [Perez], or whoever. "I do have to be a little bit more careful with that because immediately it's really taken as criticism. And then people start to hate on you. Well, that's not my intention."

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