6 F1 rivalries where stars hated each other – including Verstappen and Hamilton

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Formula One has seen some of the greatest rivalries and battles on the track.

Some of the sport’s best drivers have even represented the same team, and things have not always gone according to plan.

Massive egos and a driver’s desire to be the best have at times lead to fractious relationships.

Daily Star Sport takes a look at some of its drivers who could not stand each other at various points in their careers.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Let’s start with this season and the rivalry between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The pair have been neck and neck throughout what has been an enthralling season, but incidents on the track have soured any relationship the pair might have had.

The pairpreviously collided on lap one at Silverstone in July earlier this year , meaning the race had to be stopped after Verstappen crashed into a barrier which needed repairing.


However, both blamed men the other for the incident and was another spark in the fire for the pair. After an investigation, Hamilton was found to be predominantly to blame for the incident.

Even after that incident, the pair wereonce again involved in a collision at Monza in September, when Verstappen’s car flipped into the air and landed on top of Hamiton’s in a potentially very dangerous move for both drivers.

As expected, neither admitted fault for the incident and further added to the ongoing rivalry between the two. However, on this occasion, Verstappen was found to be predominantly to blame for the incident, meaning that both had been made accountable on separate occasions.

Last weekend's Saudi Arabian GP produced just the latest flashpoint in their rivalry.

The pair do not seem to have much of a relationship off track either, and one driver will be left devastated this Sunday as the other will be crowned the world champion.

Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber

The relationship between Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber was a tumultuous one.

Several high-profile incidents like the Turkish GP crash and the Multi-21 controversy caused their relationship to implode, with Webber leaving the team and retiring from F1 at the end of the 2013 season.

The Australian revealed just how severe the rivalry was behind the scenes, saying it even caused members of the Red Bull team to start separating.

Asked if he and Vettel put their issues aside away from the track, Webber replied: “Absolutely not. No chance.

“We absolutely overstepped the mark professionally often, and I lost a lot of trust with him in the professional sense.

“We had a lot of challenging moments mentally and the team started to separate so it was hard for [team principal] Christian [Horner] to manage that.”

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso

In 2007, Fernando Alonso moved to McLaren and was partnered by Lewis Hamilton, who was in his debut season.

The Spaniard was looking to win a third F1 title and battled with Hamilton for the crown, but both drivers missed out as Kimi Raikkonen won his first and only championship.

They saw each other as obstacles in the way and then the real battle was on.

Things turned sour at the Hungarian Grand Prix that year when Alonso allegedly impeded Hamilton long enough for the Briton to fail to set a qualifying lap.

The bitterness led Alonso to leave the team three years before his contract was due to expire, to rejoin Renault in 2008 and was replaced by the Finn Heikki Kovalainen alongside Hamilton.

Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost

The tense relationship surfaced when Ayrton Senna was drafted into the Woking squad with the approval of Alain Prost, the team's number 1 driver.

Things started well for the pair, as McLaren won 15 of the 16 races in their first year together.

However, in Suzuka 1989, things came to a head as Senna won his maiden title after punting the Frenchman and himself out of the race.

In a case of deja vu, events transpired once again at the same track a year later, but this time the result went in the other direction. Even after Prost left to join Ferrari, their rivalry did not let up.

Their friendship had a happy ending, however, as Prost retired at the end of 1993, and Senna repeatedly spoke of how he missed him. A few days before Senna’s death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Senna spoke to Prost, who had by then become an F1 pundit, saying: "A special hello to my… to our dear friend Alain. We all miss you Alain."

Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet

Similar to Alonso and Hamilton, the Piquet vs Mansell rivalry was a classic case of an experienced driver meeting his match in the form of a younger competitor who threatened his number 1 status in the team.

Piquet, the elder racer, overstepped the mark and even went as far as insulting Mansell and his wife.

Initially, Mansell preferred to do his talking on the track, but that didn't last as Piquet pushed his mental barriers beyond the limit.

Their bitter war eventually cost Honda-Williams a chance at winning the title in 1986, with Prost going on to win the crown.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

Hamilton partnered with Rosberg at Mercedes, when the pair spent three consecutive seasons going toe-to-toe with each other at the top of the drivers' standings.

Their championship battles in 2014 and 2016 were particularly intense, with both going down to the final race of the season, and the somewhat tempestuous relationship between the pair became difficult for Mercedes for manage.

The pair collided on the track and almost came to blows off it as Toto Wolff admitted he almost took one of the drivers out of a race.

“I was close to putting a driver on the bench when it was Lewis and Rosberg. Twice. In 2014 and 2016," Wolff said. "I said I would judge over 48 hours whether one needed to sit out. I still don't know who it would have been.

"But that was long ago. It is unimaginable given the relationship I have with Lewis today that it could happen now."

  • Formula One
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Max Verstappen

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