Max Verstappen says his opinion of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes has changed this season, but not for the better after an intense battle for the title in which words and means were not chosen. Verstappen and Hamilton enter the finals of the season equal in points, and Mercedes has a big 28-point advantage over Red Bull in the hunt for the eighth consecutive constructors' title.
The leading duo of the championship had several clashes in the last race in Saudi Arabia for which Verstappen was twice punished with which the Dutchman disagrees and believes that for some things the referees are punishing only him.
The duels in Saudi Arabia are not the first to end controversially after Hamilton knocked Verstappen out of the race at Silverstone and celebrated despite a ten-second penalty, and Verstappen was to blame for the Monza crash after which both drivers gave up.
All of this season’s events have influenced Verstappen’s opinion of Hamilton and his team. "Yes, indeed, but not in a positive way," Verstappen said in Abu Dhabi.
Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone also commented on Verstappen's opinion, saying that Hamilton and Mercedes were "abusing" Verstappen.
"It is clear that he feels that something is wrong. I don't feel abused, but I don't think what is happening is correct. " Verstappen, among other things, was unhappy with the fact that he was punished for his offenses in Saudi Arabia while Hamilton got away with only a warning after pushing Verstappen off the track in the last corner to have the best possible exit to the starting direction.
“Other people do exactly the same thing and get nothing,” Verstappen said. “We were both off the track, we were off the white lines in the first corner and somehow they [the referees] decided it's my fault.
And then another penalty that I don't agree with [when Hamilton hit the back of Verstappen's car when the Dutchman tried to get him back] ” "After that, he pushed me off the track. He even looked at me and didn't decide to turn around, he just pushed me out of the white lines or the boundaries of the track.
And he only got a warning for that. " "For my part, I just want to be the best I can be and try to win this weekend. That's the way to win a championship. " “But I actually feel pretty good. Very relaxed.
I got here to win, like every other weekend, and I’ll try that again this time. As I said before, it is certain that [the outcome of the title fight] will not change my life. ”