Lewis Hamilton questioned on aggressive driving pledge ahead of Australian Grand Prix

Chris Evans says Max Verstappen needs to 'be a bit nicer'

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Lewis Hamilton’s message to his Formula One rivals at the start of the season claiming that he would ‘be more aggressive’ on the track this season has been questioned by Gerhard Berger. The Austrian racing hero believes the Brit would be better suited to keep to his current style if he is to reap the rewards across the season.

Hamilton had won the last four Drivers’ Championship titles prior to last season, although he fell to a more aggressive driver in Max Verstappen in the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman won the accolade in controversial circumstances to end the brilliant run the Brit had put together.

The result left Hamilton vowing to match the Dutchman’s enigmatic style ahead of the new season. “I will be a more aggressive driver this year,” Hamilton said at the start of the season.

“You’ll see. That’s not how I’m approaching this season. I’m just approaching the season trying to be the best I can be.” However, after a slow start to the current season for Hamilton, alongside Verstappen’s aggressive style leaving himself high and dry in the season opener in Bahrain, driving legend Berger has tipped the star to return to his old ways if he is to become successful.

“I don’t know if he would be aggressive like Max was, if this would work in the right direction,” the 62-year-old Austrian told Motorsport.com. “For me, it was so clever how he sometimes gives way, not to crash but to get it back in another way.

“I just can see with all the experience Lewis has, he is very serene. He used his chances the whole time. Except for Silverstone, he just was perfect.” Berger then turned to criticise Verstappen for not keeping a level head amidst his early season battle for the title with Charles Leclerc.

“This year, if the [Red Bull] car is the best car, maybe he will adapt himself, or do it in a different way, because he maybe doesn’t need to have this aggression,” said Berger. “When you are that aggressive and it doesn’t work out, and you touch each other, or you go out of the race, it hurts.

“Sometimes it’s better [to do] what Lewis [did] last year, to say okay, for me it is worse if I lose this race some points because I will get it back another way. It’s all about how good your package is.”

Verstappen currently sits third in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with Hamilton in fifth after a poor start to the season.

And the duo face off next time in the Australian Grand Prix on April 10.

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