F1 news: Lewis Hamilton rubbishes claims of friction between him and Max Verstappen

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says there is nothing more than healthy professional respect between him and rival Max Verstappen despite constant rumours of friction.

Hamilton and Verstappen were involved in several on-track incidents during a dramatic 2021 season that the latter won in controversial circumstances in the last race of the season.

The situation was made even worse by members of each team, including team principles, taking a dim view on the others role in each incident, which the media latched onto and begun to spin tales of drama between two of the best drivers in Formula 1.

Matters calmed down last season with Mercedes in a distant third place behind Red Bull and Ferrari but the media hype is spinning up again in 2023 with Mercedes expected to have a much more competitive car.

However, Hamilton is adamant nothing could be further from the truth.

"People like to talk about there being problems between Max and me but they are nothing but fairytales," Hamilton told Formula 1 Magazine. "I respect him."

"He is a lot younger, so maybe he has a problem with me. But I am not sure about that and I actually assume not. Although I can't speak for him.

"He did everything he had to do in 2021, so why should I have a problem with him. He performed and delivered every weekend, nobody can take that away from him."

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