Lewis Hamilton admits that Mercedes and Red Bull are very respectful of each other despite the heightened tensions between the two teams.
Mercedes and Red Bull have always been rivals in F1. Since the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, the former has dominated the sport. Red Bull has always been a threat but never seriously challenged the Silver Arrows for the Championships.
2021 has seen the Milton-Keynes team take the fight against Mercedes on a whole new level. Ever since the first race in Bahrain in March, both teams have been at each other’s throats, both on and off track. Their drivers Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are in the midst of one of the best Championship fights in modern F1 history.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 22, 2021
The war of words between Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff has also escalated as the season progressed.
On the other hand, Hamilton says that despite all the off-field drama, the teams respect each other. He also added that the tensions between the two outfits wouldn’t overshadow his on-field battles with Verstappen.
The most important thing is respect, both on and off track, says Lewis Hamilton
“I don’t think so,” Hamilton said. “I mean, that’s what sport is, right? It’s intense. The battle on and off track is. So I hope not.”
Mercedes and Red Bull have not seen eye to eye in almost every single issue in 2021. Several instances have led to fiery responses from both teams’ bosses, and fans wonder if this will leave a bad taste for all involved within the two teams.
However, Hamilton said that there is no reason why they cannot sit together and discuss the issues like ‘grown men’.
“I think there’s no reason why, as men, it can’t be discussed and figured out,” the seven-time World Champion explained. “I think, at the end of the day, respect is definitely important. It’s important that we remain respectful of each other, on and off the track.”
Toto Wolff vs. Christian Horner 🍿 pic.twitter.com/cQfZx1s5PT
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The Championship charge continues this weekend when F1 makes its debut in Saudi Arabia. The Jeddah Corniche circuit is expected to be the fastest street circuit in the world.
Its high-speed layout suits Mercedes on paper, but Red Bull think their driver has an excellent chance of winning the race too.