Max Verstappen says that he “can’t be bothered” with mind games in the title fight with Lewis Hamilton in 2021.
This season could be decisive for the Red Bull leader Verstappen as he has found himself in the position of a championship contender for the first time in his Formula 1 career. His biggest opponent is the reigning 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The two drivers have already had some comments towards each other earlier, though Hamilton does not intend to start the war of words. The Dutchman also does not want to be intentionally involved in any kind of controversy.
“If they come – I can’t be bothered by it, to be honest, mind games,” he said.
“I think Lewis said after the race he doesn’t want to play those things. So we just have to focus on what we have to do on the track anyway, which I think we do, and that’s also the best.”
“Whatever is said in here [in the press conference], sometimes, at the end of the day, it can be a bit emotional sometimes as well after a race or before a race. It also sometimes depends on how you get the question asked.”
“So it’s alright. I think Lewis and I, we really respect each other, and I think that’s really important.”
It goes without saying that Baku City Circuit is an unusual track, which could be a disadvantage for Mercedes, like in Monaco. At the same time, Verstappen sees the Silver Arrows as the favorites at more typical tracks in the calendar.
“I do still think they are, on normal tracks, ahead of us,” he commented.
“But I think for us so far this season, we’ve had a great start compared to the other seasons. We just need to keep it up, we need to keep improving, we need to bring new bits to the car all the time to try and improve it. Then I think we have a very good shot at it.”
“But so far, of course to be leading the championship is very positive.”