The war of words between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has intensified ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen accused his rival of jealousy after Hamilton attempted to discredit the Dutchman's achievements by claiming his team-mates have been of poor quality compared to his own when he was at the top of the grid. "In my personal opinion, all my team-mates have been stronger than the team-mates Max has had," Hamilton said before the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month.
"Jenson [Button], Fernando [Alonso], George [Russell], Valtteri [Bottas], Nico [Rosberg]. I’ve had so many. These guys have all been very, very strong, very consistent – and Max has not raced against anyone like that." Verstappen, however, hit back by pointing out that several of British driver's current and former team-mates finished ahead of him after he made the jibe.
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"It's not nice of Hamilton towards the team-mates I had, but it is ironic that after that interview of his in Monza, many of my teammates were ahead of him in qualifying," Verstappen said. "I am not focused on others, but on my own performance. I respect the dominance of others and Lewis' past titles. In my opinion, it doesn't have to be about other people's team-mates.
"It's about your own performance, how you perform in your race weekends and how you work together with your team. The rest is secondary. Maybe there is a little jealousy. Nice for Netflix? That doesn't really matter to me."
Is Hamilton right about Verstappen's team-mates or is acting out of spite? Let us know in the comments section below.
Verstappen insisted Hamilton’s comments didn't bother him and that they wouldn't be distracting him ahead of this weekend's race. "I don't lose sleep over it," he added. "I do my thing here, go home again after the weekend, do my thing there and then I don't have much to do with Formula 1."
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Verstappen, who has won the last two world championships, is odds-on to claim a third-successive crown after winning 12 of the first 14 Grand Prixs of the season. Meanwhile, Hamilton, who is down in fourth place, is yet to win a single race and has only managed a podium finish on four occasions.
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