MAX VERSTAPPEN says he cannot be bothered to play “mind games” with title rival Lewis Hamilton.
Until now Hamilton and Verstappen have delivered barbs at each other with the Dutchman last proclaiming that he likes to “do his talking on the track” after his win in Monaco.
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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are separated by just four points in the F1 World ChampionshipCredit: EPA
Hamilton meanwhile has accused Verstappen of “feeling that he has a lot of prove” as the championship battle hots up.
The duo have raced wheel to wheel this season without making contact and while that could change this weekend on Baku’s twisty street circuit, Verstappen says he will not get into a war of words.
He said: “I can’t be bothered by it, to be honest, mind games.
“Lewis said he doesn’t want to play those things either, so we just have to focus on what we have to do on the track anyway, which I think we do, and that’s also the best.
“I mean, whatever is said in here sometimes, at the end of the day, it can be a bit emotional sometimes.
“After a race or before a race, it also sometimes depends on how you get the question asked, so it’s all right.
“I think Lewis and I; we really respect each other and I think that’s very important.”
Verstappen now leads the drivers’ championship ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
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But he has declared will not be going the extra mile with his preparations by walking the track in advance – and will spend the time in bed.
He added: “I can’t be a**** to walk. I’ll have a few more minutes in bed, and if I want to know the track I will drive my out-lap a bit slower, look around, you know.
“Everyone has a different approach. At one point I was, like, ‘I can’t be a**** to walk anymore to see it. I know the track is going left and right at one point’.
“You have your markers in FP1 and throughout the laps, you will see where you have to go.”