Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were embroiled in one of the most exciting F1 title battles of all time in 2021, with the Dutchman ultimately securing his first world title
Red Bull star Max Verstappen wants Hollywood icon Leonardo DiCaprio to play him in a blockbuster movie about his dramatic rivalry with Lewis Hamilton.
Formula 1 has seen some thrilling enemies do battle over the years, and many have made it to the silver screen. James Hunt and Niki Lauda’s legendary rivalry during the 1976 F1 season was turned into a classic movie, with Chris Hemsworth playing the Brit in ‘Rush’.
The animosity between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna was perhaps one of the most intense rivalries in F1 history, particularly after the Brazilian joined the Frenchman at McLaren ahead of the 1984 season. Bitter arguments regularly took place as the duo fought for the championship, and part of that rivalry was turned into a film focused on Senna.
Hamilton and Verstappen’s rivalry has been simmering beneath the surface for years, with the young Dutchman being the clear contender to take the crown from the veteran Brit. However, Red Bull couldn’t compete with Mercedes and never gave Verstappen a car strong enough to compete with Hamilton – until last season.
As Verstappen finally had the machinery at his disposal, what followed was perhaps the most dramatic season in F1 history. The title battle went down to the final lap of the last grand prix, and there have been rumours the rivalry could be made into another F1 movie.
Verstappen has stayed away from the cameras in recent years and has been particularly critical of Netflix ’s over dramatisation of events within the F1 paddock for docuseries Drive to Survive. The 24-year-old would prefer not to see his contest with Hamilton turned into a film, but he knows who would be his choice to play the role of the 2021 world champion.
“First of all, I hope that never happens. I do not need that!” Verstappen told Red Bull. “But if it does and now, Leonardo DiCaprio could play me. That would be great.”
When asked about his opinion of Hamilton and the state of his relationship with Hamilton, Verstappen heaped praise on the seven-time world champion. He added: “We’ve had our fights, but there’s also a lot of respect.
“He’s one of the greatest racers ever.”
Hamilton has some way to go to get back in the championship battle this season with both Red Bull and Ferrari far out in front ahead of Mercedes so far. The third race of the season takes place next weekend in Australia where Verstappen will be hoping to extend his lead over Hamilton.
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Hamilton currently sits fifth in the Drivers’ Standings, behind teammate George Russell, world champion Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and leader Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. The Australian Grand Prix is set to be absolutely crucial for Hamilton’s quest to secure the elusive eighth world championship, which would take him clear of Michael Schumacher with the most in F1 history.
Another below-par performance in Melbourne could see the Brit slip further down the table – and his title hopes could move further out of reach. Mercedes are reportedly set to deliver upgrades to their car by the next race, with rumours that some parts have been accelerated due to their poor start.
The 22-race 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to 23 races in the near future once a Russian Grand Prix replacement is found – continues with the Australian Grand Prix on April 10.