Lewis Hamilton breaking unwritten F1 rule and Max Verstappen’s insult

Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of 2023 season

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s rivalry blew up in 2021 with one of the fiercest title battles in F1 history going right to the wire. The duo clashed on four occasions during their championship duel including dramatic shunts at Silverstone and Monza.

Such was the controversy around Verstappen’s title win that Hamilton was close to walking away. Since, the pair have been unable to reignite the feud as Verstappen dominates as Hamilton and Mercedes lack pace.

Hamilton breaks unwritten rule

Max Verstappen was left infuriated at Hamilton after the seven-time champion breached an unwritten rule in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last season.

Hamilton dived up the inside of the Red Bull before starting their flying laps with the Dutchman instinctively turning his wheel towards the Mercedes star in an apparent block.

After Hamilton made the move, Verstappen bluntly responded: “Unbelievable.” However race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase tried to calm down the situation, telling Verstappen: “Let them go – let them play.”

Hamilton’s move broke a gentleman’s agreement where drivers tend not to overtake before qualifying laps in a bid to give everyone enough space.

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Verstappen throws insult at Hamilton

Last summer, Max Verstappen claimed Lewis Hamilton was “still learning” in an apparent dig at the Mercedes star. The reigning champion made the remark at the British Grand Prix 12 months on from the pair’s horrific shunt during the 2021 title campaign.

Where the two rivals collided, Hamilton managed to pass Charles Leclerc at the same spot without making contact. Hamilton praised Leclerc: “What a great battle. “[He’s] a very sensible driver, clearly a lot different to what I experienced last year.”

However, Verstappen hit back: “I think it’s quite nice that, at 37 years of age, you can still learn how to hit an apex. He is learning, so that is positive. It is also good for younger drivers to know that you are still learning when you are 37 years old. You can clearly see in the footage what was different compared to last year.”

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Is there really a rivalry?

Despite their on-track scraps, the drivers have denied there is anything sinister in their relationship with Verstappen even describing Hamilton as “one of the greatest drivers ever”

Verstappen told The Daily Mail: “I don’t think we have a difficult relationship at all. It is quite straightforward. It’s just that with others you have a closer relationship.

“It depends to an extent on how you live your life, and perhaps we are not similar in that regard. Of course, we had a big rivalry in 2021 but ultimately we do have a lot of respect for each other.”

Hamilton also denied any off-track problems between the pair ahead of the 2022 season. He told Sky Sports F1: “Me and Max, we see each other in the paddock, and things are normal.

“We have a lot of common in a sense of how much we love doing what we do and driving, then on the other side we’re ruthless. He is ruthless, I am.”

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