Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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The Formula 1 season is nearing its end, and both the Drivers’ Championship and Constructors’ Championship remain finely poised. Going into the Qatar Grand Prix this week, Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton by 14 points, but the Mercedes man has secured pole for the race. Mercedes lead Red Bull by 11 points in the Constructors’ standings. Hamilton and Verstappen have disagreed over racing rules this week after Verstappen escaped a penalty for a defensive move in last week’s race in Brazil.
Verstappen said “it was pretty clear” how drivers should now approach wheel-to-wheel battles, while Hamilton suggested the clash with the Red Bull driver has further clouded thoughts over F1’s rules of engagement.
The war of words between the title contenders has dragged on for the whole season, as seen in May this year.
Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, suggested Hamilton loved “all that rubbish” when it comes to mind games in the title fight.
He said: “The fact that Lewis feels he needs to do that means that actually, Max is probably getting under his skin a little.
“Lewis loves all that rubbish, so just let him get on with it. I think Max does his own thing and is his own man.
“We’re not even anywhere near halfway yet, so can you imagine what it’d be like, if they’re that close going into the last few races?
“They bring out the best in each other. Lewis is operating at a phenomenal level. Max is right there, and they’ve been the two standout drivers of the championship so far.
“If the two guys are starting at the front of the race in the championship and it keeps very tight between them, it’s inevitable that at some point there’s going to be a touch.”
But Hamilton dismissed the notion of a “war of words” between the teams.
He said: “I’m not playing mind games.
“It is interesting what Christian comes out with, but I couldn’t care less.
“They did a great job this weekend and that is that. We have had some good races also, but as I said there are 17 races to go.
“So it starts to get a bit childish when you get into a war of words.”
Verstappen also appeared to send a dig in the direction of Hamilton, telling him it’s what happens on the track that matters.
The Dutchman had just won the Monaco Grand Prix while Hamilton finished 7th.
He said: “You have to talk on the track and that is what I like.
“We as a team so far made the smallest mistakes and that is why we are ahead. I hope we can keep that going for the rest of the season.”
Hamilton and Verstappen’s rivalry this year has also led to dramatic moments on the track.
At Silverstone in July, Hamilton collided with Verstappen and sent him into the wall before going on to win the race.
Following the race, the Red Bull man accused his Mercedes counterpart of being “disrespectful’ with his celebrations.
Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner accused Hamilton of endangering Verstappen’s life in the 180mph collision.
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In Monza, Italy, the title rivals clashed once more.
During the race, which took place in September, Verstappen and Hamilton came together at the first chicane of the famous track, leading to both drivers retiring from the race.
The Red Bull car bounced off the curb and ended up on top of the Mercedes in a terrifying moment.
Following the incident, Hamilton said the halo around his cockpit had saved his life.
He said: “I feel very, very fortunate today. Thank God for the halo.
“That ultimately saved me. And saved my neck. I don’t think I have ever been hit on the head by a car before and it is quite a shock for me.
“If you see the image, my head is quite far forward.
“I have been racing for a long, long time and I am so so grateful I am still here and feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today.”
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