After already two different yet costly on-track clashes between Verstappen and Hamilton, one that resulted in a DNF for the Dutch and the other seeing both of the drivers DNF, the battle between those two gets more and more heated with every race. In particular the second incident was deemed Verstappen’s fault, and he will receive a 3-places grid penalty for the Russian GP.
During an interview with Sky Sports Alex Wurz, the Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association was asked what is the possibility of seeing those two drivers collide on track again. To that, he replied: “I think very likely, to be honest. Both have to mark their territory, that’s sport. If you watch boxing, football, handball whatever it is, when two greats are coming together, those things happen. I hope that this will remain fair.
“Outside of the car, I talked to both and they talked to each other, they have great respect for each other, which is really nice to see.
“But on the other side, on the track, it’s ‘we are here to fight, we are here to win the Formula 1 world championship’.
“Don’t get me wrong, they have to fight, it’s part of the game, hopefully with the respect they need, for their own team and own results, not only for each other.
“To finish first, you have to finish first. They can’t afford too many crashes.”
After Verstappen and Hamilton clashed at Monza, where both of the drivers DNF in the end, Toto Wolff, the Team Principal of Mercedes F1 commented that it was a “tactical foul” from the Dutch driver, in order to not loose position to his championship rival. About that, Wurz has said: “A comment of Toto, a dear friend of mine, I don’t see it as a tactical foul.
“I see it as normal racing tactics, when the driver in the lead of the championship is building on that.
“If you are leading in a tennis match, you can afford to be more aggressive, if you are leading in football, you have different tactics. If you are leading the [F1] championship, you can also have different tactics.
“Then it’s down to the second position driver to judge his risk management. In this case it didn’t work out, I think it was more the fault of Max that they collided. But once again, from me, it was a racing incident.”
When both of the drivers are so close in the championship fight, obviously incidents like this will happen. This is not the first time we see it happening in F1, and definitely not the last. But who in the end will win the title? With potentially 8 more races in the calendar, this is the first time in many years that we might need to wait a bit longer to see the final outcome.