Lewis Hamilton understands the war of words between the Formula 1 title camps, Mercedes and Red Bull, is part of the game but despises suggestions his team is cheating.
One of the tightest competitions in nearly a decade between seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and throne contender Max Verstappen, has long passed the track, with team managers Toto Wolff and Christian Horner providing a parallel spectacle of verbal warfare.
From flexible kites to DIY DRS, the paddock flies, with suggestions either (depending on which side of the fence you’re on) (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) breaking the rules whenever the opportunity arises.
Poet John Lyly wrote “The rules of fair play don’t apply in love and war,” which Hamilton reasonably adheres to, as he explained in an interview with The Times.
“We all have egos and that’s what controls our emotions, and it’s egos that fight each other,” explained the Mercedes driver. “There’s defense, there’s respect, but I saw someone say something about cheating, and it’s the worst claim ever. “
“I called James Allison and Mike Elliott and said, I really want to know more about these things, and they explained to me in detail where we are at. We’ve done all of that testing and that’s where it is, but I don’t like it when people say it, ”Hamilton added, referring to suggestions that his team is cheating.
For this crucial stage of the battle, Mercedes extracted stunning performance from the coupled W12 package, at the last of a nice reach and from the top shelf – “spicy engine” – which in Hamilton’s hands saw a deficit of. 19 points reduced to eight. points in two races, and now with two to go, he’s back in the race, and quite in fact.
Notably, Verstappen had no answer for the Mercedes man in either Brazil or Qatar.
The unknown that is Jeddah this weekend and the familiarity of Abu Dhabi await us in this title fight where Mercedes is once again the team to beat. And they don’t cheat, asks Lewis.