Hamilton went on to win and Verstappen finished sixth. After the race, Hamilton said smart drivers give Verstappen plenty of room because he's a "magnet" for contact. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who has had his own clashes with Verstappen, agreed.
"From my side, it was a bit of a silly comment to make," Verstappen said ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix. "I think I'm always a hard racer, but fair. I think it's just not correct. But it's easy to have a dig at someone. I don't need to dig into other people in a press conference. I think it's a bit disrespectful, and I prefer to fight on track, which I love to do.
"From my side, it's fine," Verstappen said. "It's always positive when they talk about you because that means you're in their head." Hamilton said he wasn't trying to disrespect Verstappen. "I was explaining the (race) scenario. No disrespect," Hamilton said.
Hamilton, 34, is chasing his sixth career F1 championship and can secure the title if he finishes no lower than eighth Sunday. Verstappen, who has eight career victories at age 22, including two this year, is fifth in the driver standings. Verstappen finished second at the U.S. Grand Prix last year.
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