Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok believes Max Verstappen races as an “equal” to Charles Leclerc, rather than how his fight with Lewis Hamilton was tried and the seven-time world champion was “boycotted”. ” to be done.
The duel between Verstappen and Hamilton intensified several times over the past season, with contact between them on several occasions, with the Red Bull driver receiving criticism especially for the length to which he sometimes went against Hamilton. was in position.
The title fight lasted until the final lap in Abu Dhabi, with the Dutchman breaking four consecutive World Championship Mercedes drivers under dramatic circumstances.
But the race between Verstappen and Leclerc, who had a rivalry with each other during their karting days, has been a whole lot “cleaner” so far this year, when they have fought for the position.
And it could come down to a number of factors, including Verstappen taking the world title, plus he and Leclerc have been “partners” for a long time, according to former Lotus and HRT driver Chandok.
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“We talked about it, I think, after Saudi. I still believe he actually ran Leclerc differently from how he ran Lewis last year because I think he’s going to run Lewis himself against Was trying to install it, right?” Chandok said on Sky F1.
“You know, Lewis was the incumbent, king of the castle, and Max had to come along, or he felt he had to come along, basically dethroning him and sticking his elbows out a little bit more.
“Whereas with Leclerc, they’ve grown up as peers, and it seems to me that Max doesn’t feel like he needs to, you know, effectively get him out of that pedestal.
“He sees Leclerc as an equal since they were kids and so, the way they run with each other and it’s cleaner, there’s less ‘elbows out’.
“They give each other more space and maybe some of it is maturity and world championships, but I think there’s definitely been a change in mindset.”
Verstappen currently leads Leclerc in the World Championship by 49 points, after a 95-point swing in his side in the previous six races, having won five in that time.
The Ferrari driver has not ruled out his chances of getting back in the fight, however, saying that two race victories would bring him back in the hunt.