Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen discussed on the Monza happenings and F1 title battle, as Valtteri Bottas is ready to help his teammate.
The F1 title fight is getting intense after every round in the second half of the 2021 season. Most recently at Monza, the contenders, Mercedes’ Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen had an incident that resulted in a 3-place grid penalty for the latter, after the two came together at Turn 1-2 sequence, with the Red Bull car on top of the Mercedes.
Ultimately, they scored no points, with the gap of five points in favour of Verstappen. The controversy surrounding the crash has caused a frenzy since it happened. The Dutchman had walked away from the scene, which became a focal point in discussion amongst F1 fans and media outlets alike.
Verstappen, however, talked about how he understood the situation Hamilton was in. He could see him in control and safe, as he saw the Mercedes driver attempt to reverse the car. While the Brit did talk of sore neck and a bit of shock, he flew to the USA for the Met Gala event, which made the Red Bull driver certain that he was fine enough.
Hamilton, though, kept it concise about the incident, speaking about his recovery after the race and his work with his physiotherapist, Angela Cullen. Further stating that what happened in Monza is the past and that his energy is focused in moving forwards -a sentiment shared by rival, Verstappen.
The intensity of this fight had Hamilton reminiscing of his early McLaren days during the press conference. Speaking on how he felt in his first battle for the title and the toll that it takes on a driver emotionally, relating that to how Verstappen would be feeling. The Dutchman, though rebutted that by stating that he’s rather relaxed and that when it comes down to it, Hamilton doesn’t fully know how he is.
Comments from Marko, Monza incident recovery and Met Gala attendance –
Hamilton: “I don’t really listen to what these individuals talk about. It’s natural when a car lands on your head you’re going to have some sort of discomfort. I definitely felt a bit of pain after the race, and then I said I was going to get it checked out. I worked with Angela straight after the race and during the flight, and had check-ups the next day. Then we just worked on it through the week with acupuncture and everything. I didn’t say I was dying. Of course, I was aware of the fact that in just a millisecond, anything can happen. And so I did feel grateful to come out of it not badly injured. We move on.”
Future collisions –
Hamilton: “I am just not putting any energy towards that, I am just focusing on putting all the energy into moving forwards. Naturally we are battling for a championship. I remember what it was like battling for my first championship and now I am fighting my 10th battle or something like that. I remember what it was like and I know the pressure that comes with it and the experiences that go with it so I can empathise with that. I think what is important is we continue to race hard and fair. I have no doubts we can both be professional and learn from the past.”
Pressure on Verstappen –
Hamilton: “Obviously he won’t admit to it, and I’m not going to make an assumption, but I remember what it was like when I had my first title fight and it definitely mounted up. It was difficult. It was intense. I was going through a lot of different emotions, and I didn’t always handle it the best. And that’s to be expected. There’s a lot of pressure: you’re working in a big team. There’s a lot of self expectation and pressure because the desire to win is huge. So I empathise and understand that.
“But I know that we will continue to grow from this. We all have to be smart and know that there is a time where you’re not going to make a corner, and it’s all about making sure you live to fight the next corner. And it’s really kind of just through experience you find that balance, and you know that it’s not all won on one corner. As I said, I know what it’s like having your first fight for your first championship, and your eagerness. And you go through lots of different experiences and emotions during that time.”
Hamilton’s comments on pressure –
Verstappen: “Yeah, I’m so nervous I can barely sleep! It’s so horrible to fight for a title, I really hate it – (in sarcastic terms). No, I think if someone knows me, I think I’m very relaxed about all those things and I really can’t be bothered, I’m very chilled. It’s the best feeling ever to have a car, a great car, where you go into every weekend and then you can fight for a win. It doesn’t matter if you’re just leading a championship or not. I think, those comments, I mean, it just shows you that he really doesn’t know me, which is fine. I mean I also don’t need to know him, how he is, fully. I just focus on myself, and I really enjoy it out there out front, and hopefully of course we can do that for a very long time.”
Backlash after walking away from the incident at Monza –
Verstappen: “There are a lot of hypocrites in the world, that’s for sure. I mean, I jumped out of the car and I looked to the left. And he’s of course still trying to reverse, shaking the wheel, trying to get away under my car. So I think he was absolutely fine. Also flying on Monday or Tuesday to America to attend a gala, I think you only do that if you feel fine. So I think already there, everything was all under control.”
Grid penalty –
Verstappen: “I was a bit surprised to hear the three-place grid penalty myself, but at the end of the day, it’s what they decided. I don’t need to agree with it. I have my own views, of course. But we just move on and make the best of it. It is of course, not ideal. But it’s not the end of the world.”
Future collisions –
Verstappen: “Not from my side. I’m pretty calm and chilled about everything. It’s more the questions I keep getting about it. We’re all professional enough to leave this behind at Monza, and let’s continue again here in Sochi and the races after that.”
While the F1 title fight rages on between Hamilton and Verstappen, Mercedes and Red Bull will need more support from Bottas and Sergio Perez. The latter has been useful for the Dutchman so far, while the former has stepped in to note that he will do so if required.
Bottas: “We have discussed many things internally, including different scenarios. Every race is always different. There could be times that we need to play as a team and I need to take one for the team. At this situation, how the situation is, yes, I would do it, because we’re here as a team and really need to make sure that we win both titles. Not only the constructors’, but also drivers and at the moment Lewis has the greater chance for that, so that’s the situation now at the moment.”
The story was written by Selena Aburas
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