Max Verstappen: 'I will do everything to win the championship'


Max Verstappen hopes the 2021 F1 title won't be decided by controversial stewards' decisions in his fight with Lewis Hamilton


Verstappen and Hamilton will go head-to-head for the 2021 drivers' title but will the fight be clean?

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Max Verstappen says he will do ‘everything’ to become Formula 1 world champion on Sunday in his fight against Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutch driver is level on points with his rival but leads the standings by virtue of an extra race victory, nine wins to Hamilton’s eight.

Such an advantage means that should both championship contenders fail to score on Sunday, Verstappen would be crowned champion.

Following the controversial Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and on the back of his defence of the lead during the Brazilian GP back in November, Verstappen’s tactics and defensive style have come under criticism as being too aggressive.

Despite the noise, Verstappen claims that he is still treated differently to other drivers but he won’t be sitting down with Hamilton to outline the rules of engagement for the final round of the season.

“I don’t think we need to sit down, I think we are both here to win,” Verstappen said ahead of the final round.

“I will do, of course, everything to win and win the championship. Ultimately, of course, necessary in terms of points. I think we’ve raced really well together already the whole year. I think we put on a great show for everyone at the end of the day. So hopefully we can do that again.”

Hamilton had criticised his rival during the race last weekend, calling him ‘f****** crazy’ after being forced off the track trying to take the lead of the race.

Verstappen was penalised for the move and handed a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. He was also assigned a 10-second time penalty post-race after being found to have braked in front of Hamilton during the race after being told to let the Mercedes driver through for position.

Confusion around penalties has persisted since the Jeddah race and Verstappen added that he hoped the title wouldn’t be decided by a stewards decision on Sunday.

“I don’t know about what’s coming up of course, but I think already throughout the year there have been a few things which were maybe a bit controversial, but it is what it is really.

“I mean, you can’t really do anything about it. But I think we just have to focus on the positives for this weekend and we just want action on track. I think from both sides we want to win, clearly, and it should be about that not about controversial decisions.”

Asked whether he could trust Verstappen on Sunday if the two went wheel-to-wheel again, Hamilton said that he hoped Verstappen wanted to win the ‘right way’ but that he wasn’t thinking about the nuclear eventuality of a crash.

“Going into the weekend, I don’t put any energy towards that sort of thing. I think at the end of the day, I truly do believe that everyone here racing comes to win. I would like to believe everyone wants to do it the right way. So I don’t even let that creep into my mind.”

After the controversies last weekend and his Brazilian defence, many drivers have sought clarity on the rules for defending positions. During the race at Interlagos, Verstappen’s aggressive defence was not investigated but a similar move in Jeddah was assigned a penalty.

The Red Bull driver insists he is still being treated differently to other drivers on the grid and that he was earning penalties where others were not.

“There are different rules compared to some other drivers out there. Well, I’m clear what I can do. Somehow it’s not allowed but it’s allowed for other drivers.”