F1 has rarely been able to witness a season in which the two title contenders have had the opportunity to battle on the track in almost all races, with thrilling overtaking and extreme maneuvers that have already culminated with two collisions at Silverstone and Monza. Max Verstappen And Lewis Hamilton they had the opportunity to challenge each other wheel to wheel already in the inaugural race in Bahrain, where a small smear by the Dutchman on the occasion of the decisive overtaking combined with the restitution of the position in a poorly indicated point of the track meant that Hamilton and Mercedes seized an almost unexpected victory in the light of the premises of the eve.
The answer came immediately from the Dutch Red Bull in Imola on the occasion of the second act of the season, where after a lackluster Qualifying that saw him conquer the third position at the end of Q3 Verstappen responded with a burning start that ended with Hamilton’s accompaniment on the sausage outside the Variante del Tamburello. A maneuver that was not digested by the seven-time world champion to the point of inducing the reigning champion into a mistake that could have been costly. On the occasion of the dubbing of George Russell, in fact, Lewis Hamilton in approach of the Tosa ended up in the gravel, risking to conclude the Emilia Romagna and Made in Italy Grand Prix prematurely. Only a little luck meant that Hamilton continued, with the possibility of even recovering to second position thanks to the Red flag exposed for the accident between Russell himself and Valtteri Bottas.
“I was too hasty and aggressive – said Hamilton about that episode interviewed by the newspaper The-Race.com – going into the gravel hurt me a lot. All I thought about was going to get Verstappen and pass him“. An enthusiasm that betrayed Hamilton on that occasion, a mistake that did not present a hefty bill. The contact at the Copse at Silverstone could have been equally fatal for Hamilton at those speeds and with that angle of impact, but even in Great Britain the seven-time world champion benefited from the red flag to repair the damage he sustained. In Monza, on the other hand, the contact at the Prima Variante led both drivers to retire. As already demonstrated in Brazil, Hamilton will now be very careful when he finds himself side by side with Verstappen: “I have to be smart and avoid a collision. I have 2000 people behind me, another accident could cost them all a bonus “.