Max Verstappen has rubbished Lewis Hamilton’s suggestions that he is feeling pressure, labelling his involvement in a title fight as “the best feeling ever.”
Verstappen heads into this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix five points clear of Hamilton in the standings, though will take a three-place grid penalty after their clash in Italy.
Hamilton said on Thursday that he “remembers the pressure and experiences” of his first Formula 1 title fight” and “empathises with that.”
Verstappen, though, laughed off the comment, sarcastically quipping: “I’m so nervous I can hardly sleep. It’s so horrible to fight for a title. I really hate it.”
Verstappen went on to explain that “I think if someone really knows me, I’m very relaxed about all those things and I really can’t be bothered you know I’m very chilled.
“It’s the best feeling ever to have a car, a great car where 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, those comments I mean it just shows you that he doesn’t really know me, which is fine, I don’t need to know him, how he is fully.
“I just focus on myself and I really enjoy it out there at the front and of course hopefully we can do it for a really long time.”
Verstappen is set to take a fresh power unit at some stage in the coming grands prix, which would relegate him to the rear of the field, but has yet to decide where and when.
“To be honest there’s a lot of question marks, also from our side,” he said.
“We will have to wait and see a little bit throughout the weekend what’s happening and how competitive we are as well. Nothing has been fully decided yet.”