EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lewis can’t bear to utter my name’: Max Verstappen shrugs off rival Hamilton’s antagonism as the two-time world champion calls for ‘respect’ following his achievements at Red Bull

It has been brought to Max Verstappen’s attention that Lewis Hamilton can barely permit himself to refer to him by name. The antagonism goes back to last year’s crash-punctuated title fight that only partly ended in the controversy of the last race Abu Dhabi, where Verstappen was helped by the withdrawal of a safety car to pass Hamilton on the final lap. ‘People have told me that he doesn’t use my name,’ said Verstappen, with a smile, in an interview with The Mail on Sunday. ‘I know it is not only the car he has been driving. Verstappen said: ‘Fame was not anything I looked into when I was a kid. I can hardly think of the last time I could do that in a major city. People can say what they like, but I am here to perform.’.

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