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Max Verstappen

Verstappen hits back at Hamilton: He really doesn't know me

Max Verstappen has given a response to Lewis Hamilton's comments about pressure, and words of advice, following their latest clash.

Verstappen Hamilton
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen has responded to Lewis Hamilton's comments about pressure, and additional words of advice, following their collision at the Italian Grand Prix, saying it demonstrates that "he really doesn't know me".

As the F1 paddock reconvened in Russia, Hamilton spoke of the pressures Verstappen is likely to be feeling while fighting for his first world title, calling for a "smart" approach to future wheel-to-wheel battles.

Asked to respond to Hamilton's comments, Verstappen joked that "I'm so nervous, I can barely sleep", before hitting back at his rival and making clear that he feels relaxed for the final stages of the season.

"It's so horrible to fight for a title, I really hate it," laughed Verstappen when speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com.

He then added: "No, I think if someone knows me, I think I'm very relaxed about all those things. I really can't be bothered. I'm very chilled.

"It's the best feeling ever to have a great car, when you go into every weekend and you can fight for a win. It doesn't matter if you're just leading a championship or not.

"I think those comments, it just shows you that he really doesn't know me, which is fine. I also don't need to know him, [and] how he is, fully.

"I just focus on myself, and I really enjoy it out there [at] the front. Hopefully we can do that for a very long time."

Asked if he has any concerns about the fight with Hamilton escalating to new heights, Verstappen said: "No, not from my side.

"I mean, I'm pretty calm and chilled about everything. It's more the questions that I keep getting about it.

"But yeah, we're all professional enough to leave this behind at Monza and just continue again here in Sochi, and the races after that."

Verstappen leads Hamilton by five points in the championship standings.

Also interesting:

Video: The secrets of the Sochi Autodrom circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the Sochi Autodrom in Russia.

F1 2021 Russian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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