Hamilton says title fight with Verstappen is not his most difficult

Lewis Hamilton plays down title fight with Max Verstappen claiming it’s NOT the most challenging of his career despite the seven-time F1 champion sitting 12 points behind the Dutchman with fives races to go

  • Lewis Hamilton finished second to Max Verstappen at the United States GP
  • The British driver now sits 12 points behind the Dutchman with just five races left 
  • Hamilton has downplayed the title fight saying it’s not his most challenging 

Lewis Hamilton has played down his rivalry with Max Verstappen, saying the title fight between the pair is not the most challenging he has faced in his career.

Verstappen is providing Hamilton with his biggest non-Mercedes threat since the turbo hybrid era began in 2014.

It has been a season which has been seen by many as one of the greatest in the history of Formula One, with the title challengers battling on-track on a consistent basis and even colliding at both the British and Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton finds himself 12 points behind Max Verstappen (second left) with five races left

Verstappen has offered Hamilton his biggest non-Mercedes threat since the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014

After finishing second to the Red Bull driver at the United States Grand Prix, Hamilton sits 12 points behind Verstappen with five races remaining.  

But Hamilton has played down the battle, saying he has experienced tougher rivalries in his motorsport career.

When asked by Sky Sports F1, he replied: ‘I wouldn’t say so. I was just thinking earlier on today about all the championships I’ve fought in since I was 10.

‘And there have been so many difficult moments and they are all very similar in their own way, but all unique in their own way at the same time.’

Hamilton though doesn’t think his title fight against Verstappen is the toughest of his career

The two have raced hard all season and collided at both the British and Italian Grand Prix

Mercedes’ stranglehold of both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships are under danger after winning both titles every year since 2014.

Red Bull in the hands of Verstappen have been a fierce contender this season, winning eight races compared to Hamilton’s five and leading 504 laps across all races to the Brit’s 154.

Hamilton though has showed his quality to keep the title race alive, winning some vital races as he seeks a record breaking eighth championship.

He added: ‘It could be better in the sense we’ve dropped points, we’ve not always been perfect. But you live and learn. I feel like things have happened the way they have for a reason – we’ve learned a lot.’

Hamilton hopes to get the better of Verstappen and seal a record breaking eighth title

One of his toughest title wins came against Felipe Massa in 2008 who he beat by one point

Though Hamilton did not specify what his toughest title fight was, his first championship in 2008 saw him beat Felipe Massa by a solitary point.

The Brazilian Ferrari driver crossed the line to win his home race and looked like he was about to win the title, only for Hamilton to pass Toyota’s Timo Glock on the final corner to finish fifth and claim the championship.

Hamilton’s only championship triumph which came on the last day of the season was in 2014 against then team-mate Nico Rosberg.

He however missed out on the title in the final race of the season in 2010 to Sebastian Vettel and 2016 to Rosberg.   

Hamilton last missed out on the title in 2016 by then Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg

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