Lewis Hamilton says he feels no hostility towards F1 title rival Max Verstappen despite fierce battles between Mercedes and Red Bull on and off the track.
Following victory at the Qatar Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion is just eight points behind the Dutch driver with two races to come - meaning if he wins both, he will win an eighth world title.
The rivalry this season has been fierce - both cars have pushed the limits of the rules, holding racing lines when they perhaps should not, and both drivers have not given way to the other when they should as well.
Hamilton will have 'spicy' engine back for Saudi Arabia - Wolff
The tension has led to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner trading angry exchanges, but Hamilton says he has no issue with Verstappen, as he remembers what it felt like to be a young driver with the spotlight on him.
"I can't speak for him. I've raced against people who've shown something on one face but actually it's something different," Hamilton told the BBC.
"I don't know if that's the case on the other side.
For me, look, I'm 36. I've been doing this a long time so it's not the first time I've been faced with a driver that's been good and bad in certain ways and I think I'm in just a much better position to be able to handle that, to deal with that. Particularly in the limelight and the pressures of the sport.
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"I know that he's a super-fast guy, and he's going to get stronger and stronger as he matures over time. Which he will no doubt do.
"Look at myself when I was 24, 25. Jeez, the mistakes I was making back then. I had the speed but I was going through a lot of different experiences outside the car and also being in the limelight - the pressures of being at the front.
"I don't think I did much right then so I don't hold that against anybody."
Regarding the times the pair have run each other off the track, Hamilton says he has been the “smarter” of the two over the season - knowing when to yield if it means he might crash and risk the team not winning any points.
“It's not just about me,” he said.
“I have 2,000 people behind me and through that selfish decision I could make - 'No, I'm going to hold my ground' and don't finish - that costs all my team potential bonuses at the end of the year, all the hard work they have to do, the damage of the car. I am conscious of those things also."
- Hamilton will have 'spicy' engine back for Saudi Arabia - Wolff
- Hamilton wins Qatar Grand Prix to narrow title gap on Verstappen
Next season, George Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton’s team-mate, making it an all-British driver line up. The Williams racer is a popular figure on the grid, and he achieved his first podium finish this year - finishing second at the Belgium Grand Prix. Along with Lando Norris, he is seen as a potential next British champion - and Hamilton is keen to nurture Russell as much as possible.
"He's a super-talented young man and I think there's a huge amount of respect already going in and we've got a nice balance at the moment,” said Hamilton.
"But he's going to want to be quick, he's going to want to show up and win, and do all those things that you do when you enter a new role.
I really want to see him succeed. There's going to be a point where I don't continue in this sport and, you know, he's my team-mate and he's gonna be the next Brit that I want to see win a world championship.
"So while we are going to be competing and I want to win on track, I really hope I can have a positive influence on how he conducts himself within the team, whether it's the time he commits to engineering or how he churns through the data or even just how he drives on track."
Grand Prix Qatar
Hamilton wins Qatar Grand Prix to narrow title gap on Verstappen
Grand Prix Qatar
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