Hamilton: Verstappen "very respectful" in Hungarian GP battle
Lewis Hamilton has praised Max Verstappen for his "respectful" driving during their battle in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton admitted that he relished the thought of a fight with the Dutchman, having rarely had to chance to go wheel-to-wheel with him over the last few seasons.
The world champion failed in his initial attempt to get by the Red Bull driver, when the pair gave each other racing room, but he later made it past after a stop for new tyres gave him the opportunity to catch up as Verstappen struggled for grip.
"It's important to see firstly the respect level between us I think was out there, really respectful driving, and I hope to continue that," said Hamilton.
"As soon as I got into second I was. 'OK, this whole battle we've been talking about me and Max having, we're going to have that today.'
"It was really awesome. He put the car in some good places, I gave him space and more today, but really that's from a mindset, we're fighting slightly different.
Hamilton hinted that they both might be more aggressive if the world championship was at stake.
"If we were fighting on the same points maybe it would have been a lot more aggressive.
"But there was no need for that, and it was really just making sure that when you finally pull off an overtaking manoeuvre it's a clean, full sweep by."
Hamilton was pleased to see Red Bull create some excitement by putting pressure on Mercedes in recent races.
"I really am really happy, particularly after a period of time where everyone so negative, talking about the sport, then all of a sudden we've had this big step up from Red Bull, and now we've got a really good battle on our hands, and it looks like it's here to stay.
"I think Ferrari will come back into play in some of these long, long races like Spa and Monza, where they're quick on the straights and there's not a lot of corners. Those places I think they'll be really, really strong.
"Obviously Spa has corners, but you know, that bodes well for them. Red Bull as I say has been doing great, I hope their performance continues, and I really, really hope we have more battles like today.
"And also today was one of those races where not everything was done on track, it was also a combination of really great team work and strategy, how we worked together.
"I understood my strategy fully, all the options we had, I questioned a lot of the things we had this morning, and to be able to play together, work together, was the ultimate testament of team work."
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