• ‘I am not the next Michael Schumacher, I can assure you that’ • Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on collision course in Abu Dhabi
The Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton said he was not worried about Formula One’s current youngest driver Max Verstappen after they collided in their final practice session ahead of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen finished second behind Hamilton in the season-opening race in Australia but gave up top spot after the fiery fall-out in China last month and has not challenged him since. He has won only three races since his high-profile debut in 2016.
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Asked whether he was worried about Verstappen, the British driver said: “I am not the next Michael Schumacher. I can assure you that.”
He added: “His car’s phenomenal and he’s got everything in his wheel. But he needs to learn from himself because he got away with it. He basically used one more brake than he should have.
“We’ve just got to try and be more cautious now.”
Verstappen was fastest in Friday’s first and second practice sessions with Hamilton running third before the Dutchman collided with his Mercedes rival in the final segment of the second.
Hamilton was unhurt but the two cars had to take evasive action to avoid each other, giving the impression that the Spaniard was in a better position to start the race.
“We didn’t see the car that hit the back of me and if I was in the front we would have crashed into each other,” Hamilton said. “I am not worried at all. I was quite calm at the end of the day.”
Verstappen disagreed, suggesting he was indeed worried about a repeat of what happened in China.
“One lap too much,” he said. “I thought it would be quite good for us today, I thought we were shaping up for something good and then something bad happened. I am very disappointed but I will get ready for Sunday. I’m not worried.”