Lewis Hamilton has opened up on his relationship with Max Verstappen amid a period of time in which there has been apparent friction between the pair.
Hamilton and Verstappen went head-to-head on for the Drivers’ Championship in 2021, with Verstappen beating his rival to secure a maiden title.
Throughout the year, there were a number of on-track incidents between the pair that heightened the title-fight tension.
Matters cooled in 2022 as Mercedes was unable to compete against Red Bull – Verstappen strolled to a second championship, taking 15 grand prix victories during the year.
“People like to talk about there being problems between Max and me,” Hamilton said speaking to Formula 1 Magazine.
Hamilton said that the suggestions of issues between the duo are “fairytales”, before adding: “I respect him.”
Verstappen’s title win in 2021 came to a controversial conclusion in Abu Dhabi when he overtook Hamilton on the final lap following a Safety Car restart.
The FIA accepted that human error was behind the incident, as then-Race Director Michael Masi allowed only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to Dunlap themselves.
Hamilton and Verstappen rarely raced each other last year, however they clashed once again at the penultimate round in Brazil, with both drivers unwilling to cede track position.
Outside of the drivers, Mercedes and Red Bull team bosses Toto Wolff and Christian Horner have taken swipes at each other.
READ MORE: Wolff: I live in Horner’s head rent-free
But despite the unease that has existed between the respective parties, Hamilton insists he has no problems with Verstappen.
“He is a lot younger, so maybe he has a problem with me,” Hamilton said.
“But I am not sure about that and I actually assume not. Although I can’t speak for him.
“He did everything he had to do in 2021, so why should I have a problem with him. He performed and delivered every weekend, nobody can take that away from him.”
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