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'Verstappen the 'villain' after Abu Dhabi'

'Verstappen the 'villain' after Abu Dhabi'

26 June - 10:04 Last update: 12:55
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GPblog.com

Damon Hill speaks full of praise about Max Verstappen. The former Formula 1 driver sees the Dutchman as a purebred driver who is never easily distracted by what is happening outside the sport. Despite the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last season, Hill expects the fans at Silverstone to give him a warm welcome.

The Briton is impressed by the Red Bull Racing driver. "Max is a thoroughbred racing driver" Hill began to the British Mirror. "He doesn’t seem to be interested in anything other than getting into the car - winning races - and then going home to live his life." Even at a young age, Verstappen managed to impress the Sky Sports analyst. "He’s very smart. He’s impressed me with his maturity - even from the early days when he was 17 years old. At that age, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. He’s always wanted to be a F1 driver. And world champion. A winner. The way I read it is that his life is directed in that one way. Some people aren’t like that - most of the young guys are - they’ve been racing karts since they were tiny."

Working and winning

Where other F1 drivers have other pursuits besides racing, Hill sees Verstappen throwing himself fully into racing. "But it seems he’s not distracted or interested in the extraneous things you see. He’s not, for instance, like Daniel Ricciardo who is a performer as well. He likes to project his personality. He’s not like Lewis, or Sebastian Vettel who are campaigning. It’s all he’s there to do - work with his team - and win."

Villain

Next week the British Grand Prix takes place. Hill believes the fans in attendance will be up in arms about Verstappen, despite the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that saw Lewis Hamilton lose an eighth world title to the Dutchman. "I think the British fans love F1. They love motorsport and they appreciate anyone who gives it 100 per cent and puts on a damn good show. When Ferrari won at Silverstone a few years ago, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was thankful and surprised at the reception they got. Mainly because if you win in Italy and you are not Ferrari, you don’t get any kind of reception! The British love their sport - I know Max was the villain after Abu Dhabi - but he was just doing what he’s built to do and Lewis is the same," concludes the world champion.

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