The championship took a new twist at the weekend, as Verstappen took control of the driver’s standings by four points after victory during the Monaco Grand Prix.
It’s the first Verstappen has led the standings, after Hamilton had an uncharacteristically bad weekend in Monte Carlo.
It was a particular blow for the Mercedes driver who had a 14-point cushion, but after finishing seventh, he dropped to second in the championship, with Mercedes taking a huge hit in the team’s standings too, as Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire from second place mid-race.
In the build up to the weekend though, eyebrows were raised with Hamilton claiming Verstappen had ‘a lot to prove’ in Formula One, something the Dutchman dismissed.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner threw his hat into the ring, and suggested perhaps his driver’s performance was starting to rattle his main title rival.
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Lewis Hamilton refused to get involved in a ‘childish war of words’ after the Dutchman admitted he felt perhaps the point had been proven in Monaco.
“First of all actions speak louder than words, I think that’s a good lesson after this weekend,” said the Red Bull driver.
“You have to talk on track, that’s what I like.
“We as a team so far have made the smallest mistakes, and that’s why we are ahead, so I hope we can keep that going for the rest of the season.”
Responding to his rival, Hamilton said smiling: “I am not playing mind games. It is interesting what Christian [Horner] comes out with but I couldn’t care less. They did a great job this weekend and that’s that.
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“We’ve had some good races also. There are 18 races to go. I’m not going to [say more]. It’s childish in the end when you start getting into a war of words.”
However when asked by Servus TV about the relationship, the Dutchman replied: “Fine, we are very normal with each other.
“We’ve had some great fights on track and hopefully it will stay that way throughout the year. Mercedes is still very strong on the normal circuits. In other years we were too slow in the first part of the season and up to speed towards the end. This year our start to the year was much better and more competitive, with the whole package. We have a good chance.”