Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Lewis Hamilton is trying to play psychological games with Max Verstappen to destabilize him in the title fight, but the Dutchman remains "relaxed" Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have had one of the strongest fights this year since the era of turbo-hybrid engines was introduced (not counting 2016 with Nico Rosberg).
The seven-time world champion is currently in the lead in seven races before the end of the season, but the Red Bull driver is just two points behind: 246.5 vs. 244.5. In this situation, the psychological factor plays a significant role.
For Verstappen, this is the first time that he has a car that is truly capable of fighting for the title, which could help him, as Hamilton gave his comment before the Russian Grand Prix. But the reality is that the Dutch driver had several incidents with Hamilton this year.
He lost the lead at Silverstone and Hungaroring for two withdrawals, but was not to blame for the clashes: he was the culprit at Monza and received a penalty for Sochi. After the first - a significant incident in Britain - there were various statements and accusations.
Verstappen stated that Hamilton did not care that he ended up in the hospital, while the Briton denied it.
At the Italian Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion was in a role accusing the Dutchman of not caring what condition he was in after the collision.
However, Christian Horner believes that Hamilton wants to put pressure on Verstappen with all his might because, in addition to the accusations, he does not want to put himself in the role of the favorite. "He likes to play a psychological game.
He uses everything at his disposal to put pressure on Max, and he never wants to be considered a favorite, "Christian Horner commented for Servus TV. In this situation, the psychological factor plays a significant role.
For Verstappen, this is the first time that he has a car that is truly capable of fighting for the title, which could help him, as Hamilton gave his comment before the Russian Grand Prix. However, what has been noticeable so far, Verstappen is extremely mentally strong and such psychological games do not affect him.
"However, Max doesn't really care. He is the most relaxed driver on the grid and simply wants to drive at full speed, ”added the head of the Austrian team. The next race in the Formula 1 calendar is the Turkish Grand Prix.
Pirelli has again prepared the softest pairs of tires for Istanbul Park. Therefore, new excitements in the fight for the title are ahead. We will see if Verstappen can take the lead again, and if he will show that he is ready for the title