MAX VERSTAPPEN leads Charles Leclerc in the world championship by 38 points at the halfway stage.
Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April
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Nico Rosberg believes the battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc is “intense” despite claims they have a good relationship. Verstappen and Leclerc’s friendship has appeared to remain strong this season while they battle toe-to-toe for the world championship.
A recent clip from the Monaco GP even showed both drivers laughing together while watching a social media video. However, Rosberg warned moments like this were “snapshots” and do not represent the “whole picture” between the two stars.
He even admitted tensions were likely to rise if the pair were involved in more on-track scraps like he and Hamilton faced back in 2016. Speaking to Eurosport, he said: “Both have known each other since childhood and respect each other because they know that they are tremendous talents.
“But I don’t think these scenes represent the whole picture. These are snapshots that you could have found between me and Lewis laughing together. All in all, it’s intense.
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Nico Rosberg has warned Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen’s title battle is still ‘intense’ (Image: Getty)
“Even if Charles is far behind in the World [Championship]. He’s not an immediate threat to Max. And funnily enough, the two have had few very close or controversial situations together. But we’re still waiting for that, then things will look different again.”
However, pundits have stressed throughout the season that the racing between Leclerc and Verstappen was dramatically different compared to the Dutchman’s battles with Hamilton last year. The Red Bull and Ferrari star enjoyed thrilling duels in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Austria without incident or collisions.
Meanwhile, Verstappen and Hamilton clashed three times last season during their epic title duel.
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Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have enjoyed a great relationship this year (Image: Getty)
The reigning champion took a slight dig at Hamilton ahead of the British Grand Prix, suggesting Leclerc was “calmer” behind the wheel. He explained: “I’ve known Charles for a longer time because we basically grew up together throughout racing and go-karting, and all the way to Formula 1.
“But I always had [and] still have a lot of respect for Lewis and we always got on well, and also today, you know, as racing drivers, you know you come together but you also very quickly forget and just move on. The amount of times I’ve crashed with Charles in the past, but now we can laugh about it, so it just, you know racing drivers, they of course, look at themselves.
“But yeah, this year, it seems a little bit calmer, and I just hope it stays like that and you can just have a great race.”