Max Verstappen feels the continuing rigidity between Mercedes and Crimson Bull made his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton look greater than it was.
Verstappen and Hamilton delivered an all-time basic title battle in 2021, though it was not one which got here and went with out controversial moments.
Their collisions at Silverstone and Monza particularly proved main flashpoints however, as a lot as each drivers have been susceptible to some on-track rigidity, the clashes off it between Mercedes workforce boss Toto Wolff and Crimson Bull’s Christian Horner have been simply as, if no more, fiery.
And Verstappen believes these dramas blew his rivalry with Hamilton out of proportion.
“I feel the battle between Mercedes and Crimson Bull performed an enormous function within the combat between me and Lewis, in addition to all of the occasions that occurred throughout the championship,” he instructed La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“That exacerbated the confrontation on observe.”
Requested if he ever had fears over his security, with these crashes at Silverstone and Monza talked about as examples, Verstappen replied: “No, issues don’t work out if you’re afraid. I by no means thought in regards to the danger of getting damage. I used to be targeted on successful.”
The brand new laws for 2022 have served to shake up the order, so whereas Verstappen nonetheless has the tempo to be a title contender within the Crimson Bull RB18, Hamilton has discovered himself comfortably adrift of the main tempo with Ferrari changing Mercedes within the battle on the prime.
That has meant that somewhat than preventing Hamilton, now it’s Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with whom Verstappen has gone wheel-to-wheel in two of the opening three rounds for the win.
Having risen by way of the karting ranks collectively, Verstappen is having fun with battling a well-recognized rival in Leclerc, all of their duels thus far offering thrilling, clear racing.
He additionally likes the actual fact Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz is now in a number one automotive, having come by way of the Crimson Bull junior ranks with Verstappen and his Toro Rosso team-mate in 2015, the debut Formulation 1 season for each drivers.
“I discover it fairly pure to face the identical drivers with whom I raced as a child,” stated Verstappen.
“Specifically, in my case and that of Charles, it’s good that we’re two younger individuals who combat for victories.
“To date we have now had some good battles. And I’m pleased to see my good friend Carlos Sainz in such a aggressive Ferrari, after having debuted collectively in 2015 with Toro Rosso.”