Lewis Hamilton has Max Verstappen rivalry doubts – ‘I hope it’s all it’s cracked up to be’

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes won’t shy away from a Max Verstappen battle, and that they relish the challenge ahead of the Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

A new rivalry was born between Hamilton and Verstappen after the opening Formula One race of the season in Bahrain, with the Red Bull fastest in testing, practice and qualifying.

We were treated to an epic duel for the win in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix a few weeks ago, and after a dramatic victory for Hamilton, it’s advantage Mercedes heading into round two in Italy.

However, it’s the first time for a while that Hamilton has really felt the heat coming from another team, rather than just his team-mate at Mercedes.

But the Brit was adamant it was very much business as usual for Mercedes.

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He explained: “Nothing changes for us, we approach every weekend as we always have. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“I think we’ve had multiple battles with Ferrari, with Seb [Vettel] when he was at Ferrari, and I think we’ve just got to keep our heads down and continue to do what we do.

“We love the challenge, and it’s exciting for all of us that we do have such a challenge on our hands, and it’s not one we shy away from.”

Hamilton was partnered in the press conference with former rival Sebastian Vettel, a battle that Hamilton hailed one of his favourites to date, and between the pair they have 11 world championships.

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Yet the dynamics between Hamilton and Verstappen have been compared to the Ayrton Senna vs Prost relationship, and the Senna vs Michael Schumacher rivalry that we never saw come to fruition.

Though the Brit was quick to downplay the fact it could be one of the sports next greatest rivalries.

He added: “Look, we’re only going into the second race, so I can’t assume and I can’t guess what’s up ahead of us.

“I don’t know. I hope it’s exciting for the fans, I hope that it’s all that it’s cracked up to be, particularly for the fans, and particularly in a time that we need the best entertainment possible.

“For me, it’s fighting with Seb [Vettel], fighting with Valtteri [Bottas] – you just want to be fighting with the best drivers and as close as possible, so that you can hopefully try to eke out more than your competitors to get the results.”

The second round of the Formula One 2021 season gets underway this weekend for the Emilia Romagna GP, with Hamilton leading the way on points.

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