The Red Bull driver had previously denied that this was the case, repeating his claim that winning the championship would not change his life, so there was no point in getting too excited about it, adding that his relationship with Hamilton was much less fiery than people might think. .
“We got together [collided] a few times and we weren’t happy with each other, ”he said. “But a few races later you can see us sitting together at a press conference and laughing together again, and that’s the way the race is.
“A lot of people look at you and assess the rivalry, but at the end of the day, it’s not that bad. No one is looking to come together in a race, but unfortunately these things do happen.
“They happened in karting and they happened in Formula 1.”
This latest incident will undoubtedly lead to speculation that Verstappen’s calm at press conferences is just an act.
When asked to explain his explosion afterwards, Verstappen said he couldn’t understand what Hamilton was thinking. “We were all lined up to do our laps so I don’t really understand what happened there,” he said.
Red Bull team manager Christian Horner said he believed Hamilton had ‘skipped the line’, while former world champion Jenson Button suggested Hamilton could have only done so for liquidate Verstappen.
“I don’t know if it was playing games or what, but obviously that rocked Max a bit,” thought Button.
Hamilton himself kept his advice. In round 30C, Mercedes appeared to have the fastest car, with Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton scoring a brace in FP1 and Hamilton again showing a faster qualifying pace than the Red Bulls in FP2, even though the seven-time world champion did was not completely satisfied.
“FP1 was a very good session,” he said. “Then we made some changes and I was not happy in FP2.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily the heat, I think it’s literally just that the track surface is rougher than before and it’s a struggle to keep the temperature off the tires. “
And the title race, apparently. They may be playing it cool off the track, but the emotions are clearly still running there.