Lewis Hamilton explains private Max Verstappen phone call and fear of dying in F1 crash

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Lewis Hamilton has opened up on the Formula One season so far and his relationship with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Both men are currently jostling to win the F1 Drivers’ Championship. And it’s been quite a campaign so far.

Hamilton has been used to cruising to victory in recent years, ever since Nico Rosberg retired.

But he’s had to dig hard to take pole position in the race for the prize, with Verstappen putting up a strong fight so far.

Back in July, things nearly boiled over.

Hamilton and Verstappen clashed at the British Grand Prix, in an incident that left Red Bull raging in the aftermath.

And the Brit has now explained how he called his rival, telling ESPN: “I called him after Silverstone, but, again, I don’t mean to be patronising, but I am much older. I’m much older and it was important for me to call and to be able to break the ice.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that when I was 25. I don’t hold any hostility against him.

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“I feel he’s a tremendous talent and I am enjoying racing with him. Do I agree with everything he does? It doesn’t even matter.

“What matters is that he does him and he will learn, and all I can control is what I do and how I handle things.

“Whatever happens at the end of the year we are going to be shaking hands and we will be back to fight again the next year.”

Hamilton also insists he’s had to avoid ‘certain scenarios’ with Verstappen to avoid something serious happening.

“Yes, I’ve had to back out of certain scenarios with Max because otherwise we are going to crash, and I’m just like, ‘I’ll beat him in another way,'” he said.

“I think, ‘If I can just survive this corner, I will challenge and fight him another way, stay close, use strategy and all these different things.’

“But that comes with experience and I really do hope that that pays dividends at the end of the year, but of course you have just got to find the right balance.

“That’s really what I’m just trying to do.”

With every F1 crash, there poses a serious risk of death.

That’s a subject few drivers speak out on but Hamilton has admitted that he’s more mindful of it now, having felt ‘invincible’ during his younger years.

“I would say in my younger days, no, you didn’t think about it,” he said.

“When you are young, you think you are going to live forever, but I think now, of course, I am more conscious of it, which is why I had more gratitude.

“I definitely wouldn’t have been in that head space when I was younger.

“If you think about it a lot, then of course that can affect you and I can’t allow that.

“I still love what I’m doing and I know there is a danger factor there.

“I just think I’m grateful the safety is where it is and I know we are progressing the safety next year and the impact structures are improving constantly.

“But I still have so much to do with my time here still. So then you have to compartmentalise it.

“I’m aware of it. I respect that danger bubble and it’s exciting also.

“I’ve just been so excited to get back in the car [since Monza]. I guess if a day comes when I don’t want to get back in the car, you know it’s time to stop.

“But it doesn’t seem to be there yet.”

Overall, Hamilton wants a fair fight. And he doesn’t want to win the title if it’s via a crash.

“There’s never ever a question about that,” he added.

”I would never want to win in that way.

“If that means you don’t win at all, at least you have your dignity. I wouldn’t want to win any other way; you always want to win the right way.”

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