Johnny Herbert swipes back at Max Verstappen over Lewis Hamilton comment

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MAX VERSTAPPEN enjoys a commanding lead in the driver’s standings heading to the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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Johnny Herbert has revealed he was “disappointed” with Max Verstappen after the reigning champion made a series of remarks about Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Red Bull star said he preferred this season’s title battle more than last year because he has a better relationship with Charles Leclerc than Hamilton.

The Dutchman also claimed he had a “lot of respect” for Ferrari, suggesting he did not share the same feeling for Mercedes. Verstappen even added he would not have a laugh with the Mercedes team in the same way he talks with Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto.

However, Herbert hit back at the comments claiming he was “perplexed” over the youngster’s “negative” remarks. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Herbert explained: “(It was) disappointing actually in many respects.

“He seems to sort of just dismissed Lewis straight away, and then he was straight onto Charles and Ferrari the battle they’re having. I thought he was enjoying the battle they were having on track (last season), but clearly there, he wasn’t enjoying it at all.

READ MORE: Max Verstappen snubs Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes with brutal comment

Johnny Herbert swipes back at Max Verstappen over Lewis Hamilton comment

Johnny Herbert has slammed Max Verstappen for his Lewis Hamilton comments (Image: Getty)

“But I don’t understand why his comments would be so negative towards Lewis and the battle that they had last year. I’m quite perplexed.” Verstappen and Leclerc have enjoyed a series of on-track battles this season but have yet to make contact.

At this stage last season, Verstappen and Hamilton had already collided twice including a massive 51G shunt at the British Grand Prix. However, Verstappen enjoys a much more comfortable 63-point advantage over his Ferrari rival compared to the eight-point gap to Hamilton last year.

Speaking to Sky Italy, Verstappen continued to strike at the Silver Arrows as he claimed Ferrari were a “well-respected competitor”. He also opened up about the respect between the two sides and spoke about the close relationship with Leclerc.

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Johnny Herbert swipes back at Max Verstappen over Lewis Hamilton comment

Max Verstappen snubbed Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix (Image: Getty)

He said: “I prefer what we have now because, first of all, Charles I know very well, he’s a nice guy, we are a similar age – I think we are only three weeks apart. I think also we are fighting a very well-respected competitor in terms of Ferrari. The way they go about the way we are fighting… when they win a race we can go to them and say well done, and when we win a race they can say well done, and I really respect that.”

However, Hamilton has also aimed his own digs at Verstappen this season. At Silverstone Hamilton went side-by-side with Leclerc at Copse as the pair enjoyed a clean battle.

Hamilton took the opportunity to hit back at the Dutchman, describing Leclerc as a “Very sensible driver.” He added: “Clearly a lot different to what we experienced last year.”

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