Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are separated by just two points
Max Verstappen won’t be able to use mind games to get the edge on Lewis Hamilton in their Formula One world championship title fight, David Coulthard has warned.
Seven-time champion Hamilton leads Verstappen by two points with seven races of the season remaining, in one of the closest title battles in memory.
The drivers have clashed both on and off the track this season, notably at the Italian Grand Prix where the rivals crashed out of the race in dramatic fashion, sparking a war of words.
While Hamilton and Verstappen were not in close contact on the track at the Russian Grand Prix last weekend, with the Red Bull driver starting at the back of the grid before fighting his way back to second, Hamilton had suggested before the race that the pressure was getting to the Dutchman.
Verstappen responded by telling Hamilton that he “did not know him”, but former championship contender Coulthard has claimed that the 24-year-old should stay clear of trying to engage with mind games over the closing stages of the season.
“You don’t have to be surprised that these two drivers, of all people, are fighting for the title. And I’m firmly convinced that will continue until the end of the season in Abu Dhabi,” Coulthard told Speedweek.
“I don’t think Verstappen can get into Lewis’ head. They both have such strong teams behind them, they know they can win races at any time and that creates an incredible amount of confidence.”
Coulthard battled with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher on the track during the German’s most dominant years in the sport with Ferrari.
And the Scot praised both Hamilton and Verstappen for handling the pressure of a title battle, something he struggled to do during his peak seasons with McLaren.
“I felt a lot of pressure then, but these guys don’t,” he added. “They’re racing against the very best, but they just make fewer mistakes than we did back then.”
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