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Max Verstappen says rivalry with Lewis Hamilton ‘isn’t that bad’

Max Verstappen has told Lewis Hamilton that “all is forgiven” as the Red Bull star revealed that he expects the brilliant battle for the Formula One championship to be decided in the final race.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by just six points ahead of Sunday’s United States Grand Prix here in Austin. More than 140,000 fans are expected for the first F1 race on US soil in two years.

It has been almost four months since Verstappen was hospitalized with a concussion after a 180 mph collision with Hamilton on the first lap of the British Grand Prix in July. Verstappen was apoplectic and Hamilton was found to be at fault for the accident.

Max Verstappen (left) has tried to draw a line under his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton (right)

Max Verstappen (left) has tried to draw a line under his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton (right)

The Dutchman was eliminated from the British Grand Prix by Hamilton earlier this year.

The Dutchman was eliminated from the British Grand Prix by Hamilton earlier this year.

The Dutchman was eliminated from the British Grand Prix by Hamilton earlier this year.

The two rivals crossed swords again at Monza last month, with Verstappen’s Red Bull hitting Hamilton’s helmet. On that occasion, Verstappen was found guilty, punished with a penalty on the grid in the following race.

“We have met several times and we were not happy,” Verstappen said in an interview with the PA news agency in Austin.

“But a few races later they can see us sitting together at a press conference and laughing again, and that’s how the races go.

A lot of people look at you and value the rivalry, but at the end of the day it’s not that bad.

“Nobody is looking to join in a race, but unfortunately these things happen. They have happened in karting and they have happened in Formula One.

‘We all have those moments where we have low moments with someone, but we are human beings. We go ahead and forgive. ”

The rivalry was taken to new heights after this collision at the Italian Grand Prix last month.

The rivalry was taken to new heights after this collision at the Italian Grand Prix last month.

The rivalry was taken to new heights after this collision at the Italian Grand Prix last month.

Verstappen’s measured response is perhaps a sign of his growing maturity. In the past, the Dutchman, who turned 24 last month, has not been afraid to speak his mind.

In 2018, he threatened to head butt the next journalist who asked him about his recent run of crashes.

And Timo Glock, the German driver whom Hamilton passed dramatically to win his first championship in the last race in Brazil in 2008, claimed that a younger Verstappen would have lashed out at his rival after his crash at Monza.

“I’ve gotten older and have more experience, but I don’t necessarily think I would have beaten Lewis,” said Verstappen, now in his seventh season.

“It’s just that you experience more things and learn to cope better with the sport, that’s just a natural process.

'We all have those moments where we have low moments with someone, but we are human beings.  We go ahead and forgive, '' he said.

'We all have those moments where we have low moments with someone, but we are human beings.  We go ahead and forgive, '' he said.

‘We all have those moments where we have low moments with someone, but we are human beings. We go ahead and forgive, ” he said.

“I have been very relaxed all year. I can’t speak for Lewis, but for my part, there is no real added pressure. ”

It’s almost impossible to predict the winner of this year’s championship battle.

The Circuit of the Americas has been kind to 36-year-old Hamilton and Mercedes in the past: The Briton sealed two of his seven record-equaling Lone Star State championships and won in five of his eight appearances.

But Verstappen is in good shape at the upcoming venues in Mexico City and Brazil, while the tracks in Qatar and Saudi Arabia are completely unknown.

Verstappen said he expects the championship battle with Hamilton to come to the final day.

Verstappen said he expects the championship battle with Hamilton to come to the final day.

Verstappen said he expects the championship battle with Hamilton to come to the final day.

Does Verstappen expect the contest to be determined in the final round in Abu Dhabi on December 12?

“I hope so,” he replies. I don’t think we have the strength to walk away.

“It will be a bit defensive in terms of trying to maintain the points lead, but Mercedes has been very strong in the last few races and it is up to us to recover.”

“If we have the rhythm in the car to win the championship, we will win the championship, and if we don’t have the rhythm, we won’t. I can only focus on what I can control. ”

The remainder of the season will see a gripping battle between the best talents of the generation.

The remainder of the season will see a gripping battle between the best talents of the generation.

The remainder of the season will see a gripping battle between the best talents of the generation.

Verstappen, who is in a relationship with Kelly Piquet, the Brazilian model and daughter of three-time world champion Nelson Piquet, recently suggested that winning motorsport’s biggest award would not change her life.

“Of course, it would be a great achievement if it happened, but I don’t really dream of this kind of thing,” he concludes.

“Since I was little, my dream was to get into Formula One and then win a world championship. But winning a championship wouldn’t change the world for me, and it would be wrong if it did. ‘

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