Hamilton pulls Verstappen title warning ahead of new F1 season

The rivals had a series of clashes on the track last season, with Hamilton and his Mercedes team blaming Verstappen for overstepping the bar.

And speaking in Bahrain ahead of the Grand Prix weekend’s opening practice session, Hamilton warned: “I will be a more aggressive driver this year.”

The Briton missed out on the title to Verstappen in controversial circumstances after coming into the season finale in Abu Dhabi on points level before a late call from deposed race director Michael Masi cleared the way for Verstappen to move on, win the race and, with it, the title.

The seven-time world champion called for the immediate publication of the FIA ​​report on the events in Abu Dhabi. More than three months after the race and just two days before the start of the 2022 season, no details have been released during a supposedly long and thorough investigation.

The FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council is due to meet tomorrow in Bahrain to discuss its investigation, with the hope of the majority of drivers on the grid, Hamilton included, that the report will be released in some form over the course of of the weekend.

Hamilton met FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem last night to discuss the results, with a driver briefing scheduled for later that evening.

Calling for the full report to be released, Hamilton said: “I think it’s important as a sport that we are transparent. I can’t wait to see it…and let people know that the sport is transparent and working from what’s happened in the past.

Despite the delay in publishing the inquest’s findings, the 37-year-old insists he’s ready to put that in the past before hitting the track for the season opener.

Reuters

“I don’t hold a grudge and I don’t have any end-of-season baggage,” he said. “I think it’s important to let go. I know I can’t change the past.

“I will work as hard as I can with the FIA ​​and the teams to make sure things run better in the future. The most important thing is clarity… and consistency. as drivers.

Hamilton’s new Mercedes team-mate George Russell meanwhile insisted full publication was the only answer after “events in Abu Dhabi were not to the standards we all expect”.

Verstappen, meanwhile, said: “I don’t think we need a full report. Each year it is good to discuss what happened the previous year and what you can do better. If things can be written more easily to better understand the wording, then that’s for sure.


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