After winning the last Grand Prix in Monaco, Max Verstappen holds the Drivers' Championship lead, taking it away from Hamilton.
At this point, the war for the title is open, and the Briton will play all his cars to take back the lead and the title, that would be his eighth and Verstappen first.
The Dutchman is not easy prey though, as he is very strong, much more than most other drivers. Interviewed by the Italian newspapaper La Gazzetta, Verstappen dared Hamilton, affirming that he is ready for the Silver Arrow’s star mental games and he will not back down.
“I am not afraid of Hamilton’s mind games: I have the mental strength to beat him," - Red Bull’s first driver points out – "We had to demonstrate we could really fight for the title after a couple of races in which we lost some ground from Mercedes. Now, what it is important is to keep scoring points every Sunday, avoiding committing mistakes, the big ones at least. We have been the team who committed the least mistakes so we hold the lead of the Championship.”
Monaco!!! 🏆 Teamwork brought us this victory. Thank you so much to @hondaracingf1 and @redbullracing for helping me win today and to everyone for the support 🙏🏻 Over the moon with this win, but we are pushing for more. So for now, let’s enjoy this great victory 🍾🇲🇨 #MonacoGP pic.twitter.com/sPcT1ahiS5— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) May 23, 2021
“Throughout the last few years, Lewis never had any rivals and now I am fast and ready to fight for the title,” – he continues.
Lewis Hamilton does not stand still, though, and he sends his reply to the BBC.
“I do not play any mind games – he says, annoyed by the Dutchman words – Red Bull just did an excellent job during the whole weekend in Montecarlo, that’s all. We have seventeen races left and I don’t have the slightest intention to enter this controversy, that I can just define childish”.
The words are getting hotter, the tension is growing, as it seems to give echo to the fight that is taking place in the grid. Finally, almost for the first time, not only the seven-time World Champion has a rival but one belonging to another “kingdom”.