Hamilton says he would never crash into Verstappen to land F1 title

Lewis Hamilton has insisted he would never deliberately take out his rival Max Verstappen in order to win the Formula One title. The world champion was speaking as he prepared for this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix after his Mercedes team principal, トト・ヴォルフ, had suggested that both drivers would consider crashing intentionally with their rival if it would secure the title at the last race of the season.

With five meetings remaining Verstappen holds the advantage as they prepare to race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. He leads Hamilton by 12 points and is optimistic that he can extend it in Mexico.

The two drivers have already had two serious clashes this season, at Silverstone and Monza, leading to dangerous crashes, with the latter resulting in both being knocked out of the race.

Earlier this week Wolff referenced the acrimonious rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Prost hit Senna at the 1989 Japanese GP and secured the title, while infamously the next year Senna, knowing a DNF for both drivers would clinch his championship, drove into Prost eliminating them both to claim the crown.

“If it was to come to the scenario of the last race in Abu Dhabi and they were to be racing each other for the title, whoever is in front is absolutely going to try to do the same as in the Senna-Prost years,” said Wolff. “If you are racing for the championship and you see it fading away because the other guy is overtaking you, what tool have you got other than the one that makes sure he can’t overtake?」

メキシコでは, しかしながら, Hamilton was unequivocal that he would not do so. “I have never won a championship in that way and would never want to,” the seven-time champion said. “I am here to win in the right way and that’s through sheer skill, determination and hard work.

“You know how I have won my championships in the past. I always want to win it the right way and if you are going to lose it, you lose it the right way, with dignity and knowing you have given it your all. All you can do is give it your all and work as hard as you can, if it doesn’t work out you live to fight another day.”

Verstappen, competing in his first title fight and who has been uncompromising in his racing in the past, was also emphatic he would not resort to any underhand tactics. “I don’t really think about previous historic fights between two drivers and what they have done," 彼は言った. “It’s the past, I just focus on what I have to do on track, to do the best I can. That’s how you are going to win the championship, get the most available points out there and try to beat your rival.”

The 36-year-old Hamilton is now in his 15 season in F1 and pursuing a record eighth title and has considerable experience in seeing out a championship fight. This is a new experience for Verstappen at 24 だが Red Bull have their most competitive car since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.