Former F1 Driver Boldly Compares Verstappen-Hamilton Rivalry to Schumacher-Montoya

Published 12/15/2021, 9:58 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Brazilian Grand Prix – Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil – November 14, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The 2021 F1 season has left us with a unique piece of racing history. Two drivers with utmost resilience and skills battled it out for the title and in the end, Max Verstappen managed to push himself that extra yard. However, apart from the controversies following the last race, the season was one to remember in times ahead. The fans witnessed some high-quality wheel-to-wheel racing between the two title protagonists.

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Some moments made us walk down memory lane, reminding us of some high-class battles in the sport. However, the aggressive and ruthless approach of Verstappen towards a seven-time world champion was something that stood out. Back in the day, fans cherished a similar rivalry between Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Max Verstappen pushes to the limits like Montoya

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In the early 2000s, Michael Schumacher was an icon in the world of Formula 1. He was known for his calculated aggression and pushing the limits on the track. However, someone who could push back Schumacher at the height of his powers was Juan Pablo Montoya. The Columbian graced his fans with many moments of racing brilliance during his F1 tenure.

Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes that the way Red Bull star drives against Hamilton is reminiscent of the infamous Schumacher- Montoya rivalry. “Ever since round two at Imola he has shown he is willing to take the fight to Hamilton, in a manner with which Juan Pablo Montoya tried to take on the benchmark of Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s,” said Palmer.

The two competed in many famous close battles, including Malaysia GP 2002, where Montoya got a drive-through penalty. Montoya’s exquisite move on Schumacher at the Nurburgring in 2003 still remains one of the boldest passes on the German. Not to forget the 2004 San Marino GP, where the German allegedly pushed Montoya’s Williams in the gravel and the two had a little spat over it in the following press conference.

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Hamilton and Verstappen’s F1 saga

The two title rivals in the 2021 season were constantly breathing down each other’s necks. Max Verstappen did not hesitate for a second while pushing Hamilton to a close wheel-to-wheel battle. In some instances, the two of them were separated by the width of a paper. Moreover, the infamous crashes in Silverstone and Monza are proof enough of the aggressive brand of driving the two of them adopted this year.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crash out of the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

However, in the end, they were separated by a fine margin of leading one last lap. The two skilled drivers, two dominant teams, and one intense title fight summed up the 2021 F1 season. Tell us your favorite moments for this season.

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Rituraj Tripathi

234 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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