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Verstappen a magnet for drama says Hamilton

Mat Coch

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Wednesday 30th October, 2019 - 9:02am

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Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton has suggested Max Verstappen is a ‘magnet’ for drama on track following their opening lap incident in the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix.

Battling behind the two Ferraris into the opening chicane, a moment for Hamilton forced the pair off track.

While Hamilton was able to recover, Verstappen picked up a puncture when trying to pass Valtteri Bottas a handful of laps later.

It all but ruined any chance of a strong result for the Red Bull driver, though he did recover to sixth by the flag.

“I think every driver is slightly different,” Hamilton explained.

“Some are smarter; some are like very smart, aggressive and some are silly with it.

“And so, through those experiences of racing with people, you give some more space and others you don’t have to. They’re quite respectful.

“Max, it’s very likely you’re going to come together with Max if you don’t give him extra space, so most of the time you do.

“He’s a magnet for those kind of things.”

Hamilton’s opinion is one shared by Sebastian Vettel, who ended the race second to the Mercedes driver, while Formula 1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn suggests the Dutchman needs to learn from his mistakes if he’s to become a world champion.

Brawn worked alongside Michael Schumacher, who was similarly aggressive in his early years, through his seven world championship victories, and had his name on the team that saw Jenson Button claim the 2009 title.

“Max made a few mistakes that cost him dearly,” Brawn wrote in his regular column on Formula 1’s official website following the Mexican GP.

“Starting on Saturday when he ignored yellow flags following Valtteri Bottas’ Q3 crash, and afterwards blatantly admitting that he had not reduced his speed.

“Then, on Sunday, the red mist came down on the first lap as he tangled with Hamilton in Turn 2 after the start.

“To make matters worse he picked up a puncture following a somewhat ambitious move past Bottas in the stadium section a few laps later. And that was pretty much that.

“There will be little consolation in his spirited fight back to sixth from P20 that involved a marathon 66-lap stint on hard tyres. The Dutchman showed his age or lack of it. He’s still only 22 and so there is plenty of room for improvement.

“The important thing is to learn from one’s mistakes, which applies even if you’re 50 but perhaps a little more so at 22.

“You have to win the ones you should win and the ones you shouldn’t as demonstrated by Lewis – that is how you become a world champion.”

Formula 1 is back in action this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix, opening practice set to commence at 0300 AEDT Saturday.

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