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Hamilton calls for 'respect' as politics threaten to overshadow F1 title fight

Hamilton calls for 'respect' as politics threaten to overshadow F1 title fight

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Hamilton calls for 'respect' as politics threaten to overshadow F1 title fight

Hamilton calls for 'respect' as politics threaten to overshadow F1 title fight

Lewis Hamilton has urged Mercedes and Red Bull to rediscover "respect" due to the off-track squabbling that is beginning to overshadow a thrilling title fight.

After seven years of Mercedes dominance, Red Bull and Max Verstappen are taking the fight to the Silver Arrows this season as 11 points separate the rival teams in the constructors' championship, with Hamilton 14 adrift of the Dutchman in the drivers' standings.

Off-track, there are currently "mortar shells going in both directions", according to Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner have become embroiled in a slanging match.

Asked if the rising tensions could overshadow the battle between Verstappen and himself, Hamilton answered: "I don't think so.

"It is what sport is, right? It is intense, the battle on and off-track... I hope not.

"There is no reason why, as men, it can't be discussed and figured out. At the end of the day, respect is definitely important, that we remain respectful of each other on and off track."

Faced with a similar question, Verstappen said: "It is quite normal when it is between two teams instead of just one team.

"Yeah, I just have to focus on what is happening on track, of course, the rest will be dealt with.

"To be honest, I don't think about it too much because it is also not in my hands. I am the driver and I just need to focus on what is happening on track."

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