Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen: Tyson Fury jumps to Red Bull man's defence in F1 title fight

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Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury has told sections of the press to lay off of Formula 1 star Max Verstappen as the Dutchman bids for his first world title this weekend up against Lewis Hamilton.

Abu Dhabi is our ring for this final bout of the 2021 season and both Max and Lewis go into this weekend on 369.5 points, meaning it's very much a winner takes all contest.

In terms of momentum, you would argue that the Briton in his Mercedes is in the ascendancy after emerging victorious in Saudi to make it a hat-trick of straight wins and, of course, there now seems an extra edge to this rivalry after all that went on at the Jeddah circuit.

Certainly, Verstappen has been given a fair bit of stick from several quarters since Sunday's race over driving standards and, whatever your view on his approach to his racing, it's surely something the 24-year-old is aware of this week.

Of course, he cuts a very calm figure indeed when dealing with the media himself, especially when you consider he's never been in this position before, but Fury believes that there is still room for some to cut him a bit of slack from the press' perspective:

“I’ve just been reading up about how Max is being made out to be a bit of a bad boy in the media.

“I know how it feels to be treated horribly by the media,” said Fury. “It’s not nice, especially when you are young and ambitious and want to win.

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“Give him a bit of a break – he’s only a young lad trying his best.”

As well as a boxing superstar, Fury is a huge advocate of mental health and wellbeing and obviously understands more than most the pressures that come when rising through the ranks and scrapping to achieve your lifelong goal.

Max is certainly a figure that will polarise because he is on the limit and even over it at times but also supremely talented and clearly determined to win, and it is easy to forget that whilst he's been in the sport a while now he is still a young man.

Hopefully, this weekend, we'll have a good clean fight for the title.

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