Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen is never one to back down from a battle regardless if it is on the track or off it. In the latest chapter of his "feud" with 2021 title rival Lewis Hamilton, he has hit back with an insult of his own in response to a dig that the Mercedes driver made towards him after the British Grand Prix.

In the closing stages of the race at Silverstone last Sunday, Hamilton was involved in an exciting wheel-to-wheel battle for third place with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. The seven-time champion eventually passed the Monegasque, who was struggling for grip on old hard tyres.

The pair battled for a few laps, with one of the highlights being a move by Leclerc on Hamilton around Copse. The Ferrari driver took the outside line, with Hamilton taking the kerb right at the apex. They two managed to avoid a collision, with Hamilton praising Leclerc for his "sensible" driving, which he said is "very different" from his experience last year. It was a barb aimed directly at Verstappen, with whom Hamilton collided in the same corner last season.

On that occasion, Verstappen was also ahead and on the outside, but Hamilton was further away from the apex and managed to touch the Red Bull, sending the Dutchman crashing into the barriers at high speed. Recalling the incident, Verstappen said, "I think it's great that, when you're 37 years old, at some point you understand how to get to an apex," Verstappen said in an interview with local Dutch media outfit De Telegraaf.

He was pointing out that the situation last year was indeed different from this season's British Grand Prix, but the safer outcome was due to the fact that the Briton had stayed a safe distance away from the Ferrari.

"He does learn, so that's positive for the younger drivers: when you're 37 you still stay always learning! You can clearly see it in the images, of course. Charles gave him less space than I did last year, so that says enough. Moreover, he received a penalty last year, so you should not talk about that," said Verstappen, referring to the race stewards' ruling that found Hamilton to have been "predominantly" at fault for the crash.

The Mercedes driver received a time penalty for sending the Red Bull driver off the track, but it was not enough to stop him from claiming the race victory. This season, things are indeed very different. Hamilton is struggling to fight for race wins, as his Mercedes has been suffering extreme porpoising issues, leading him to complain about back pain after racing.

Verstappen is leading the championship ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez, with both Ferraris following closely behind. Hamilton is all the way down in sixth place, behind his new teammate George Russell.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen celebrates victory in Canada AFP / Geoff Robins