Hamilton: Some drivers' comments 'not good for young kids watching'

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Lewis Hamilton says he's often been unimpressed by "the things that come out of drivers' mouths" which aren't good for young kids watching, insisting respect must remain "at the core of everything".

Hamilton and title rival Max Verstappen have found themselves several times at loggerheads this season, with the Red Bull driver going off his rails at times over his team's radio.

In free practice in Austin, Verstappen branded Hamilton a "stupid idiot" after a brief wheel-to-wheel skirmish with the seven-time world champion.

Ahead of this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix and the resumption of his fierce title fight with Verstappen, Hamilton was asked how he kept his composure under pressure and avoided making his battle with his arch-rival something personal.

"I’ve been here for a long time, it’s not my first rodeo," Hamilton said. "I think at the core of everything, there has to be respect.

"When I think about, and I hear the things that come out of drivers’ mouths, I do think there are kids watching us, and they’re looking to us for inspiration and for guidance.

"There has been a lot of things that have been said, which is definitely not good for young kids that are watching.

"For me, I’m just trying to remain positive and keep calm, and again, just be respectful to the drivers that I am fighting.

"If I have a name in my head of what I think they are, I don’t share that. But it’s pretty easy for me. You laugh it off, and you move forwards."

The 36-year-old Briton says his experience is currently a precious ally in his fight for a record eighth world crown, especially against "a youngster" as strong as Verstappen.

"I have been here a long time, I learned a lot in my time," Hamilton said. "And also, I know, Max has not won a championship in a long, long time.

"So I know what it’s like going for your first championship, particularly in the sport, I know the pressures that come with that, and so it’s nothing less than I expected from him.

"He’s still a youngster, and he’s going to be growing a huge amount over the next decade, which I think everyone will be excited to see. I just try and if I can, lead by example.

"Because as I said, I know that I have a lot of youngsters particularly that are racing, that are looking at what I do and what I say. And that’s important for me."

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