Verstappen prefers F1 title race with Leclerc instead of Hamilton

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Max Verstappen says he is enjoying the Formula 1 title race with Charles Leclerc more than last year's rivalry with Lewis Hamilton.

The defending F1 world champion revealed that last season's fierce battle with Hamilton was much more taxing and confrontational.

This time, the Dutchman feels the competition is more respectful and mature, creating a more enjoyable working environment.

"I prefer what we have now because first of all, Charles, I know very well. He is a nice guy," Verstappen told Sky Italia.

"We are a similar age; I think we are only three weeks apart. And also I think we are fighting a very well respected competitor in terms of Ferrari. The way they go about [the battle], the way we are fighting - if they win a race, we can go to them and say 'well done', and if we win a race, they can come to us and say 'well done'.

"I really respect that and also certain people within the team, and even Mattia (Binotto), I have a really good relationship with him.

"On the Saturday night in Paul Ricard, [we had a laugh], and that is great because that is what racing should be about. We are hard competitors on the track and will always try to beat each other, which I think is very normal, but outside of it, you can have a good time as well.

"That's what I have really enjoyed about this year."

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