Verstappen pokes fun at Hamilton

Max Verstappen could not resist poking fun at Lewis Hamilton’s ambitions to own Chelsea, saying: ‘I thought he was an Arsenal fan.’

‘I thought he was an Arsenal fan?!’ Max Verstappen pokes fun at rival Lewis Hamilton’s involvement in Sir Martin Broughton’s £2.5bn bid to buy Chelsea, insisting he would ‘never buy Ajax’ as a PSV supporter

Max Verstappen could not resist poking fun at Lewis Hamilton’s ambitions to own Chelsea, saying: ‘I thought he was an Arsenal fan.’

The world champion was speaking after Hamilton emerged as part of Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium to buy the club, along with the driver’s pal Serena Williams. Ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, Verstappen said: ‘I am a PSV fan and I would never buy Ajax. And if I were going to buy a football club I would want to be the full owner and to take the decisions myself, not own just a tiny percentage. ‘I thought he was an Arsenal fan, no? If you are an Arsenal fan going for Chelsea, that is quite interesting.

‘But everyone does what they want with their money so let’s see what comes out of it.’ Verstappen pipped Hamilton in a dramatic title battle last season, but has been thwarted in the early stages of his defence by two luckless retirements. Hamilton, meanwhile, is struggling in a distant third-best Mercedes.

After three races, Verstappen is 46 points adrift of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Hamilton 41 back.

This weekend’s race format sees qualifying on Friday, a sprint race on Saturday and the grand prix on Sunday.

‘It is good to have two young guys fighting up the front in different cars,’ said Verstappen, alluding to the new rivalry between himself and fellow 24-year-old Leclerc. ‘It just shows that it is hard to get things right. Sometimes you nail a certain regulation and it always seems like you know and understand why that is.

But clearly that is not always the case. Sometimes it is hit and miss, and with these new regulations Ferrari have started really well. Now it is up to us to close the gap.’ In contrast to his explosive battles with Hamilton last year, Verstappen and Leclerc have so far avoided contact.

One theory is that Verstappen has not been as aggressive in his duels with the Ferrari driver as he was with Hamilton.

‘I didn’t know that people could speak for me,’ said Verstappen. ‘I race exactly like I always race because that is how I am.

‘Everyone is different in their defence or their attack, and so far Charles and I race very well together because we know where we want to place the car and how much room we need to leave each other. That works out really well for both of us. ‘Charles is aggressive, too, and you can clearly see that. We have nice battles, but we don’t touch.’– dailymail

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