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Hamilton - I've never been "as aggressive" as Verstappen

Hamilton - I've never been "as aggressive" as Verstappen

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Hamilton - I've never been "as aggressive" as Verstappen

Hamilton - I've never been "as aggressive" as Verstappen
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen is more aggressive than he has ever been, insisting his collision with his Red Bull rival in Sunday's British Grand Prix was just part of “a normal battle".

Hamilton and Verstappen have gone wheel-to-wheel on numerous occasions this season, with the reigning F1 champion claiming he has had to back off on too many occasions.

At Silverstone, Hamilton stood firm, leading to the pair colliding on the opening lap in an incident that has sparked a war of words and lit the blue touchpaper for the rest of the year ahead.

Defending his approach against Verstappen, Hamilton said: “We’re in a battle and I think this year he has been very aggressive.

“Most of the times I’ve had to concede, just avoiding an incident with him and living to fight on later on in the race.

"As you saw [on Saturday, in the sprint] once he’s out in the clear, they’re too fast so when an opportunity comes, I’ve got to try and take it.

“It’s a normal battle. When I was younger, of course, I was probably as aggressive...maybe actually not as aggressive as Max is, but I was pretty aggressive as a youngster.

“I’m a lot older now and I know it’s a marathon, not a sprint and I have a better view in how I approach my racing.”

Hamilton Verstappen fight bubbling into a bitter battle

Hamilton and Verstappen both strongly voiced their opinions after the incident, with the Briton claiming the Red Bull driver was “very aggressive”, speaking prior to hearing that the Dutch driver had been taken to hospital for checks.

Verstappen countered on Twitter, stating that he was “very disappointed with being taken out like this” and claiming Hamilton’s post-victory celebrations were “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike".

The pair fought from the off at Silverstone, with Hamilton pushing hard to find a way past to prevent Verstappen from racing into the distance, leading to the opening few corners providing some thrilling racing.

But Hamilton believes Verstappen overdid the aggression. He added: “This one moment I got a great exit out of turn seven and I was really happy with the dummy that I was able to go to the left and then go to the inside and get up that gap.

“Fortunately he wasn’t able to close it. But unfortunately, the aggression stayed from his side and we collided. It’s unfortunate but it’s a racing incident, these things happen.”

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