Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him
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Red Bull driver Verstappen starts the US Grand Prix on pole this evening after pipping Hamilton with his final lap. Hamilton had put himself on pole with a superb final lap of his own, but the Dutchman leapfrogged his rival shortly after. Sergio Perez took third spot, and Charles Leclerc will start in fourth after Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was given a grid penalty — so will subsequently start down in ninth. Hamilton and Verstappen have clashed throughout this year’s F1 calendar, and the Austin track witnessed their latest spat.
During second practice on Friday, the two went wheel-to-wheel, and Verstappen gave his bitter rival the middle finger.
Verstappen also called the Briton a “stupid idiot” over the radio.
It’s not the first time the pair have clashed in Austin, however.
During the 2019 season, which Hamilton ultimately won, Verstappen furiously lashed out at his British rival.
The second qualifying session saw three drivers — Verstappen, Hamilton and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat — preparing for their final lap.
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They were running slowly through the final sector of their out-lap when Verstappen couldn’t control his anger.
Hamilton, trying for a better track position, came through and forced the Dutchman onto the grass.
A raging Verstappen said on the team radio: “Lewis f***** us all, so it’s his f***ing problem this is happening.”
Addressing the incident in the press conference, Verstappen continued to vent his fury.
He said: “We were all just slowing down to make space, and Lewis just drove by like nobody was there and didn’t care.
“So I was like: well, if you don’t care, I don’t care. So I want to get my position back.”
Hamilton hit back after the session: “It’s just a nothing [incident].
“I was trying to keep temperature in my tyres, everyone was driving so slow.
“There are no rules or regulations that say you have to stay in single file.
“So I kept going and then he started to try and race me, which was fun.”
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With this year’s F1 championship wide open, the rivalry is more intense than ever before.
Verstappen holds a six point lead over Hamilton, who is bidding for a record eight title, which would pull him clear of Michael Schumacher.
They clashed at the Emilia-Romagna GP in April when Verstappen bolted off the startline to overtake Hamilton and Perez.
Hamilton was forced to drive over the kerbs on the outside bend, which subsequently damaged his front wing.
It was a sign of things to come, as they later clashed in the Spanish Grand Prix.
With both on the front row again, they nearly crashed on the first turn. Hamilton eventually managed to win the Barcelona race and was rewarded for his patience.
The British Grand Prix ended in disaster for Verstappen after a horror crash on the first lap.
Verstappen and Hamilton collided at the ninth corner, and the Dutchman spun into the tyre wall at 180 mph (290 km/h).
He was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, but was not seriously injured.
They had a dramatic crash in Monza in September, and the halo arguably saved Hamilton’s life after the rear wheels of Verstappen’s car came down over his cockpit.
The pair will start together on the front row again this evening for the seventh time in 2021.
Verstappen has typically started better than Hamilton this year, but the Mercedes driver is confident he’ll be able to chase down the Dutchman. Speaking ahead of the race, Hamilton said: “It’s all fun and games. Have fun [during the race], give it everything as you would expect.
“I don’t think it’s all decided in Turn One though.”
The US Grand Prix gets underway at 8pm tonight. Coverage begins on Sky Sports F1 at 6:30pm.
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