in

F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Returns With Even More Fight To Win – “Attack Mode”

The feud between seven time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen has reached a new level as Hamilton pulls Verstappen aside according to reports.

Some will have been surprised to see Hamilton at the pre-season testing over the last few days as many thought retirement was on the cards for him. This was following Verstappen taking the Drivers’ Championship in Abu Dhabi which ended up costing FIA’s F1 race director, Michael Masi, his job.

The pair have had a strong on-track competition since Verstappen came onto the F1 track in 2015 and they will now be going head to head again with Hamilton aiming to get his eighth world championship win.

Although the rivalry has been very much apparent on the track, the drivers still keep it professional off track and have a lot of respect for each other. However, according to reports, Hamilton decided to pull Verstappen aside after they had contact in the first lap of the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix which led to a heated exchange between them.

– Red Bull Media

Hamilton branded Verstappen as a “torpedo” following this even though Verstappen came off worse from the small collision.

This wasn’t the first altercation between the two drivers, the next one being after the race weekend in Austin after they argued about track space in Q3, leading Verstappen to accuse Hamilton of driving like “nobody was there and didn’t care”.

Seeing that this could get out of hand again, Hamilton tried to smooth things over with Verstappen before the race. In an interview with Channel 4, the Mercedes driver explained:

“I spoke to Max before the race. I was like ‘Dude, you are such a great racer man, let’s just squash whatever there is between us, whatever beef, let’s go out there and have a great race.’

“He is a champion of the future and I’m going to work as hard as I can to stop that from happening for a while.

“But I’m enjoying the race with him.”

After keeping a low profile following the end of season drama in 2021, Hamilton has said this week that he feels refreshed. The Mercedes team have warned the competition that Hamilton is ready to take the title from Verstappen, with team principal Toto Wolff saying Hamilton is in “attack mode”:

“I think what he did was absolutely right, to take himself out of the microcosmos of Formula 1 and step aside, and black out socially. He has come back in a great mindset.

“He’s positive, he’s determined and yet again adversity that was thrown at him will make him stronger. And as he said, it’s attack mode.”