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Max Verstappen

Verstappen explains why he doesn't think mind games work

As he continues his battle with Lewis Hamilton for the 2021 F1 World Championship, Max Verstappen is clear that he will shut down any mind games that might begin.

Hamilton Verstappen
To news overview © Mercedes

Max Verstappen won't be getting involved in any mind games during the 2021 F1 title fight as the Dutchman doesn't believe such tactics work.

There were suggestions of this kind of psychological battle emerging earlier in the season; for example, Verstappen's title rival Lewis Hamilton was quoted as questioning whether Verstappen "feels he perhaps has a lot to prove" in the championship fight ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, though then went on to say that he wouldn't be getting into a war of words with the Dutchman.

Verstappen has always insisted that he prefers to do his talking on the track and the Red Bull driver is sticking with this strategy.

"I'm just very straightforward and I don't need these kind of things [mind games] to be involved in," Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.

"Anyway, it doesn't work. We are all here to race, we all know what we need to do, and that's just drive fast on the track and after that you go home and you enjoy your time off from Formula 1.

"I think it's very important to just immediately shut that down and just focus on what we have to do.

"Lewis and I, I think we have a lot of respect for each other and we enjoy of course battling on track."

In terms of whether the rivalry with Hamilton will go on into 2022 and beyond - given that Hamilton recently signed a deal to extend his contract with Mercedes until 2023 - Verstappen admits that it is difficult to predict given the change of regulations being introduced into the sport next year.

"It's all going to depend of course on how competitive our cars are going to be," the 23-year-old explained when asked if he is happy to see Hamilton stay so that they can continue their battle.

"But of course from his side he loves Formula 1 and it's good to see him continue."

Verstappen currently has a 32-point lead over Hamilton in the World Championship, whilst Red Bull are 44 points ahead of Mercedes in the Constructors' Standings.

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