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Verstappen relishing "hunter" role after Hamilton challenge

Verstappen relishing "hunter" role after Hamilton challenge

F1 News

Verstappen relishing "hunter" role after Hamilton challenge

Verstappen relishing "hunter" role after Hamilton challenge

Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen is relishing the opportunity of being the hunter in the race for this year's title.

The Dutchman has won three races of five so far this campaign and the sprint at Imola, yet trails Charles Leclerc in the standings by virtue of two retirements in Bahrain and Australia.

The Red Bull driver held off a late-season challenge from Lewis Hamilton last year to clinch his maiden championship but asked if he preferred being hunter or hunted, Verstappen insisted: "I like the position I'm in at the moment, knowing that the car is quick.

"And for example, end of last year, of course, I was the one who was being hunted. And that was actually not a great position because I knew that we didn't have the pace anymore.

"I knew it was going to be very tricky to the end. So yeah, just depends a bit of how competitive you are as well."

Leclerc happy to be hunted

Ferrari driver Leclerc is at the top of the pack for the first time in his career and faces a season-long battle for his first title with Verstappen.

Asked the same question as his rival, Leclerc replied: "Well, I think we have been in only one position since the beginning of the season, which means we are hunted for now.

"I quite like this position to be honest, because it means that you are doing something right. But it is also true that it’s two races that the gap is slowly closing down.

"But yeah, I don't I don't really mind, to be honest, whichever position I am in, I just want to be the most competitive out there. And at the moment, it seems that Red Bull has the upper hand in the races."

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