LEWIS HAMILTON admits he could clash with title rival Max Verstappen at this weekend’s Monaco GP.
The two have traded positions in the opening four races this season as they have gone wheel-to-wheel for the win.
So far, the two have avoided contact but McLaren CEO, Zak Brown says it is only a matter of time before they do collide on track.
However, Hamilton, who has won three times to Verstappen’s one victory in 2021, says he is playing the long game when it comes to fighting for the title.
He said: “I think I’ve done well to avoid all the incidents so far. We’ve got 19 more [races] to go and we could connect, hopefully not.
“The good thing, I think, there is a nice balanced amount of respect between us.
“I think perhaps he feels he has a lot to prove. I’m not necessarily in the same boat there.
“I’m more long term, kind of, ‘it’s a marathon not a sprint’ sort of mentality. Which is ultimately why I have the stats that I have.
“So I’ll continue with that and I’ll do everything to make sure that we avoid connecting.”
Hamilton is going in search of win number 99 in his F1 career in Monte Carlo, a race he has won three times before.
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He finished ahead of Verstappen at the last Monaco Grand Prix, held two years ago, but expects a tougher test this time around.
He added: “Red Bull were incredibly close two years ago. It’s a much different car, we have different tyres. Red Bull are going to be very, very hard to beat this weekend.
“This is a track that has always been strong for them and, given how close the gap is between us, you can imagine this weekend they could be ahead.
“But we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that’s not the case.”