Lewis Hamilton downplays the title fight with Max Verstappen stating that it is NOT the most challenging of his career despite the seven-time F1 champion sitting 12 points behind the Dutchman with five races to play.
- Lewis Hamilton finished second behind Max Verstappen in the United States GP
- The British driver is now 12 points behind the Dutch with only five races to play.
- Hamilton has downplayed the title fight saying it’s not the most challenging
Lewis Hamilton has downplayed his rivalry with Max Verstappen, saying that the title fight between the pair is not the most challenging he has faced in his career.
Verstappen is giving Hamilton his biggest non-Mercedes threat since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.
It has been a season that many have seen as one of the best in Formula One history, with title contenders battling on the track constantly and even clashing in both the British and Italian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton is 12 points behind Max Verstappen (second from left) with five runs to play
Verstappen has offered Hamilton his biggest non-Mercedes threat since the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014.
After finishing second to the Red Bull driver in the United States Grand Prix, Hamilton is 12 points behind Verstappen with five races remaining.
But Hamilton has downplayed the battle, saying he has experienced tougher rivalries in his motorsport career.
When asked by Sky Sports F1, he replied: ‘I wouldn’t say. Today I was thinking about all the championships I have fought in since I was 10 years old.
“And there have been so many difficult moments and they are all very similar in their own way, but all unique in their own way at the same time.”
Hamilton, however, doesn’t think his title fight against Verstappen is the toughest of his career.
The two have raced hard all season and collided in both the British and Italian Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ dominance of the drivers’ and constructors’ championships is in jeopardy after winning both titles every year since 2014.
Red Bull in the hands of Verstappen has been a fierce contender this season, winning eight races compared to Hamilton’s five and leading 504 laps in all races to 154 for the Briton.
Hamilton, however, has shown his knack in keeping the title race alive, winning some vital races as he seeks a record eighth championship.
He added: ‘It could be better in the sense that we have lost points, we have not always been perfect. But you live and learn. I feel like things have happened the way they have for a reason – we’ve learned a lot. ‘
Hamilton hopes to overtake Verstappen and seal a record eighth title
One of his toughest titles was against Felipe Massa in 2008, whom he beat by one point.
Although Hamilton did not specify what his toughest title fight was, his first championship in 2008 saw him beat Felipe Massa by a single point.
The Brazilian Ferrari driver crossed the line to win his home race and it looked like he was on the verge of winning the title, only for Hamilton to pass Toyota’s Timo Glock at the last corner to finish fifth and claim the championship.
Hamilton’s only championship win that came on the final day of the season was in 2014 against then-teammate Nico Rosberg.
However, he lost the title in the final race of the season in 2010 to Sebastian Vettel and in 2016 to Rosberg.
Hamilton last missed the title in 2016 to then Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg