Lewis Hamilton disagrees with Toto Wolff over Max Verstappen extreme tactics


Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has denied any suggestion he would ever crash into Max Verstappen to win a world title, after his boss, Toto Wolff claimed “Whoever is in front [on points] is absolutely going to try to do the same as in the Senna-Prost years”.

Likening the scenario to the great Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost rivalry, which was its most intense when the pair were team-mates at McLaren-Honda in the 1988 and the 1989 seasons, Wolff refused to rule out another firey moment between Hamilton and Verstappen before the season finished,

Both the 1988 and ’89 championships were decided by the pair colliding, yet Hamilton stated he “never has” and “never would want to” win a championship that way.

“Firstly, I haven’t read what Toto has said but I highly doubt he would insinuate that would ever be the case,” said Hamilton, speaking in the press conference ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix.

“We have never won a championship in that way, I have never won a championship in that way and I would never want to.

“From my perspective and point of view, I am here to win and in the right way and that is through sheer skill, determination, and hard work.”

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With 133 points still up for grabs and five races remaining, Wolff told the Daily Mail: “If it was to come to the scenario of the last race in Abu Dhabi, and they were to be racing each other for the title, whoever is in front is absolutely going to try to do the same as in the Senna-Prost years.

“What happened in Monza? Verstappen took Lewis out because he was about to overtake and he was quicker. And that is totally understandable.

“If you are racing for the championship and you see it fading away because the other guy is overtaking you, what other tool have you got other than the one that makes sure he can’t overtake? We’ve seen it with Schumacher and Villeneuve, we saw it with Senna and Prost twice.

“I don’t think you can control it, I don’t think you want to control it because they are the gladiators in their machines. You wouldn’t want to have calmed the gladiators in the arena 2,000 years ago. We will not interfere.

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“I would never give the instruction to crash into anyone else but if they go to that last race and whoever is in front wins the championship, they will be racing each other, hard.

“And I don’t think you can control it, Hamilton and Verstappen, I don’t think you want to control it because they are the gladiators in their machines. That is what makes this sport so interesting because it is ingrained in our nature that we don’t like confrontation and then one is intrigued to see how that relationship unfolds.

“If they crash are they going to confront each other? What are they going to say? Will they look in each others’ eyes? We would not interfere. The relationship is sorted out between the individuals.”

Hamilton trails Verstappen by 12 points heading to the Mexican Grand Prix as the championship is set to go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi, the final race of the season.

Speaking of his tense battle with the Dutchman, however, Hamilton added: “We have been racing hard all year, it is what motor racing is all about and it is the reason it has been the most exciting season since God knows when.

“That is why we also have more fans watching than ever.

“People are going to have opinions, whether they know what they’re talking about or whatever, and just going back to it, you know how I have won my championships in the past.

“I always want to win it the right way and if you’re going to lose it, you lose it in the right way also, with dignity and knowing that you have given it your all and done things the right way.”



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