The Formula 1 title battle between Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is as intense as there has been in years, yet the British driver has sent a message to his Dutch adversary, detailing just how difficult it is to win the first title of your career.
Hamilton has won the title seven times now, with the first coming in just his second season in the sport, but with Verstappen having now been around for six years without a championship, the pressure is building and building.
“My first title? It was horrendous,” Hamilton detailed in an interview with Sky Sports F1.
“I didn’t have a great structure around me in terms of management, I didn’t have help to know how to handle all these curveballs sent at me, I didn’t have all the tools, except the ones in the car. The journey was terrible, but he’s what, six years in?
“I was in my second year, I don’t spend a moment thinking what might or what might not be a distraction for him.”
With Honda in their final season as a power unit supplier in Formula 1, there was an expectation in pre-season that Red Bull would have a car much closer to the Mercedes of Hamilton this term, and that has proven to be correct.
The battle for points between the two teams has been heated and hugely engrossing, and the British driver himself is clear that he is enjoying the challenge after a number of relatively docile years.
“I expected it was going to be a rollercoaster ride, it’s been amazing,” Hamilton added.
“It’s been the hardest year on so many levels, but there’s been so many positives and I have really, really enjoyed it.
“It definitely could be better in the sense that we’ve dropped points, we’ve not always been perfect, but you live and you learn.”