Mercedes and Red Bull battled closely for the F1 championship last year as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen got involved in a fierce rivalry. The two top-tier drivers were incredible last season as they entered the last race of the season with equal points at the controversial Abu Dhabi GP. Unfortunately, Red Bull has been the frontrunner this year as well, joined by Ferrari, while Mercedes have struggled to win a single race so far. But, it seems the rivalry between Verstappen and Hamilton has not ended just yet. The two drivers were involved in a series of incidents last year.
However, one of the most controversial incidents occurred in Silverstone last year. This resulted in the Dutchman crashing into the barriers at 180mph while passing alongside Hamilton at Copse. Lewis and Max made contact at high speed during the opening lap, resulting in the Dutchman getting knocked out of the race and sent to the hospital. Meanwhile, Lewis was handed a penalty for his role in the incident. However, the Briton still went on to win the race at home.
Again, this season, Verstappen found himself in the midfield. A carbon debris from Yuki Tsunoda’s car destroyed his RB-18’s floor and limited his pace to compete at the front. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s W13 performed much better last weekend. He fought Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc to secure a podium spot.
Luckily, the Briton finished third after a series of unlucky situations. Although it still cost Mercedes their first race win of the season. Leclerc and Lewis fought hard as the Monegasque tried to get ahead of the Briton on his older tyres during the race’s final stages. The two racers drove through Copse corner almost wheel-to-wheel, showing respect to one another and getting through the corner without making contact.
Lewis Appreciates Leclerc For His Sensible Driving While Verstappen Hits Back
After the race in Silverstone, Hamilton commended Leclerc’s sensible driving and remarked the incident as a great battle. Lewis added that it was clearly a lot different than he had experienced last year, referring to Max Verstappen.
Recently, Verstappen responded to the comments by Lewis after the British Grand Prix. The Dutchman told the media that it was nice to see that Lewis was still learning to hit an apex at the age of 37. Verstappen said that Hamilton was learning, and that was positive. The reigning world champ added that seeing Lewis would be good for young drivers to learn that you can still learn at 37. He added, “You can clearly see in the footage what was different compared to last year.”
Verstappen thought that Leclerc gave Lewis less space than the Dutchman did last year. The Red Bull driver also mentioned that Lewis was the one who was penalized by the FIA last year. Hence, Max felt there was no point in talking about the incident. He just needed to concentrate on continuing the good work that his team had done so far. Max concluded, “That’s what I’m concentrating on.”