Ex-F1 Champion Has a Theory Why Hamilton’s F1 Crashes Only Happens With Verstappen

Published 09/15/2021, 7:50 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after finishing first and second respectively in the sprint race qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


The ongoing F1 season is witnessing one of the most intense rivalries in recent memory. As Lewis Hamilton looks to clinch a record-breaking eighth world title, Max Verstappen looks to clinch his first. With Red Bull producing a much-improved car this season, the battle for top honors looks all set to go down to the wire.

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In fact, their recent crash at Monza displayed their drive and hunger to succeed, which is also what holds them back from playing it safe. During a recent interview, former Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve detailed why Hamilton’s incidents only come about when Verstappen is close by.

Jacques Villeneuve believes Verstappen’s aggression forces Lewis Hamilton into mistakes

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Since he joined Red Bull in 2016, Verstappen established himself as a bright prospect in F1. With a fearless attitude, the Dutchman rose to the top, pushing his competition to the limit. However, Verstappen also forged a reputation of carrying too much aggression, which led to crashes and heated moments.

During this season, the 23-year-old exuded that aggression on many occasions, especially when alongside Hamilton. Speaking to Corriere Della Sera, Villeneuve believed the Briton only makes uncharacteristic mistakes when his Dutch rival is around.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

He said“These two can’t stay on the edge. Lewis doesn’t usually make these mistakes, it only happens to him with Max.”

He went on to admit the Dutchman’s aggression was forcing such mistakes out of Hamilton. “Verstappen is always very aggressive, with Hamilton he is even more aggressive. If you put them together in the same corner they exaggerate, but these moments are part of F1.” (Quotes translated from Google)

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Villeneuve believes too many penalties will reduce the competitive nature of F1

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After the Italian Grand Prix, Verstappen received a three-place grid penalty in the next race for the crash in Monza. Villeneuve believed a penalty for every single incident would make drivers think twice before overtaking.

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“If every time a penalty is triggered there will be no more competition because no one will try to overtake,” said the Canadian. With the Russian Grand Prix inching closer, Sochi looks set to write another chapter in this intense rivalry.

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Sanket Nair

647 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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