Lewis Hamilton interjects in Verstappen complaints to stop rival in his tracks

Lewis Hamilton told Max Verstappen that he sounded ‘a bit bored’ despite winning the sprint race at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday. The Red Bull star has vehemently opposed F1’s continued experimentation with the format.

The current F1 grid’s two biggest talents went toe to toe during the opening stages of the sprint race in Austin after Hamilton edged past Charles Leclerc at the race start although he was unable to challenge the pace of Verstappen who ultimately cruised to victory.

This was a particularly uneventful sprint race at the front end of the grid, leading to another debate about what the changes have added to a race weekend from an entertainment perspective. 

After Verstappen launched yet another complaint about the format, Hamilton interjected, stating: “Sounds like you’re a bit bored.” This prompted a backtrack from the reigning world champion, who insisted that he wasn’t bored off the back of his latest dominant victory.

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“I’m not bored but if I were a fan, I would just be disappointed because you more or less know about the picture,” Verstappen explained. “If nothing crazy happens, you know what’s going to happen tomorrow. 

“So I find it takes away that magic of waking up on a Sunday morning or whatever, Sunday afternoon, and you turn on the TV. You’ve had qualifying but you’re not sure which car is going to be quickest in most of the years and it takes that magic away, I find.”

Despite Verstappen’s frustrations with the sprint race system, Hamilton remains open to the idea of mixing up the format in the name of entertainment. The seven-time world champion has previously campaigned in favour of their introduction.

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“It’s a slightly different perspective when you’re chasing so for us it’s fun,” Hamilton suggested. “I like having the extra opportunity to get out there and try to squeeze everything, every little bit and more out of the package that we have.

“Can it be better? I’m sure we can learn. I think it’s been exciting for people so I personally quite like the sprint weekends, particularly a Friday I really like where you only have one practice session and then you’re straight into qualifying.”

While their battle in the sprint on Saturday was short-lived, fans can look forward to some wheel-to-wheel action from Hamilton and Verstappen on Sunday. The Dutchman starts in sixth after a track limits infringement during qualifying while the Mercedes star starts in third.

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