Max Verstappen ‘can’t be bothered’ with mind games during Lewis Hamilton F1 world title fight

·1-min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Max Verstappen says he “can’t be bothered” playing mind games with Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen arrived in Baku for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix leading the ­drivers’ championship for the first time in his career after winning in Monaco.

Following that victory on the streets of Monte Carlo two weeks ago, the Dutchman said “actions speak louder than words” in a riposte to Hamilton saying before the race that the Red Bull driver “feels he has a lot to prove”.

But Verstappen says he is not going to waste his time on mind games as he bids to stop the Briton from winning a record eighth world title.

“If they come ­— I cannot be bothered by it to be honest, mind games,” said Verstappen, who has a four-point lead over Hamilton going into the sixth race of the year.

“I think Lewis said after the race he does not want to play those things, so we just have to focus on what we have to do on the track anyway, which I think we do, and that is also the best.

“Whatever is said [in the press conference], sometimes it can be a bit emotional as well after a race or before a race. It also sometimes depends on how the question is asked.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“So it is alright. I think Lewis and I, we really respect each other, and I think that is really important.”

Hamilton finished only seventh on a disappointing weekend in Monaco, but the Mercedes driver said ahead of Sunday’s race in Baku: “You are hunting the whole year, so whether I am ahead or behind in the championship, it doesn’t feel any different for me.”

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