Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton say they have no hesitations about racing each other hard given their mutual trust and respect on the track.
The 2021 season is still in its infancy, but the massive battle for supremacy between Mercedes and Red Bull and their star drivers is already in full swing and set to continue at every opportunity.
So far, Hamilton has the upper hand over his arch-rival, but the intensity of the pair’s battles and the determination displayed by Verstappen at Imola in particular, where the Dutchman muscled his way past the seven-time world champion, augur for one of the tightest tug-of-wars ever seen in F1.
But while past duels have often descended in acrimony, Verstappen and Hamilton are confident that they will know where to draw the line as their battle moves forward.
“Yeah, it’s been really cool, especially when you race a driver, when you know that you can go to the absolute limit, I guess you can trust each other to just race super-hard,” said Verstappen last weekend on his hard-line jousts with Hamilton.
“I think that’s always really nice because you can see that in the three races…it’s been really close to each other but predictable.
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“Lewis has never had something like ‘oh, we’re going to crash’ or something. I always have full trust in Lewis that we all give each other enough space.”
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Hamilton is on the same page as his championship challenger.
“Yeah, I just second that,” he said. “I think it is naturally down to respect and I think racing both very, very hard but fair.
“And I think that’s what makes great racing and great racing drivers and I think we will continue to keep it clean and keep it on the edge, but I don’t think either of us has a plan to get any closer than we have been.”
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