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Hamilton 'target on chest' claim after Verstappen São Paulo drama

Hamilton 'target on chest' claim after Verstappen São Paulo drama

Hamilton 'target on chest' claim after Verstappen São Paulo drama

Hamilton 'target on chest' claim after Verstappen São Paulo drama

Lewis Hamilton believes his F1 success has put a "target" on his chest after the latest clash in his rivalry with Max Verstappen.

The duo fought in a bitter title battle last season, with near-misses eventually overflowing into fiery incidents on numerous occasions across the campaign.

Mercedes' early-season frailties prevented a repeat for most of the season, but a resurgence since applying the team's final upgrade of the season at the United States Grand Prix resulted in Hamilton and Verstappen being positioned alongside one another for the start at Interlagos.

A safety car period postponed the early fight but when the race restarted on lap seven, the pair made contact with the FIA race stewards adjudging Verstappen as the main culprit.

Asked if he held any concerns over Verstappen's racing ethic or potential future safety when combatting the two-time champion, Hamilton replied: "I don't have any concerns.

"It is natural when you have the success and numbers on your chest that you become a bit of a target.

"But it is ok, it is nothing I haven't dealt with before."

Seven-time champion Hamilton recovered by charging through the top 10 to secure a one-two for Mercedes, behind George Russell.

It was the first victory of the season for the Silver Arrows and the first one-two for the team since Imola in 2020.

"For me, all I thought in that moment, I thought I would have to retire because the rear wasn't feeling the same after that.," conceded Hamilton.

"It was like 'I am going to lose the team a one-two', that was all I could think of.

"So I was driving across the grass and back on the track and all I could think of was how I could get back to give the team this incredible result.

"Just for me, it is not how you fall, it is how you get back up."

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