Former F1 Driver Opens up on the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen Rivalry

Published 06/12/2021, 3:02 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


So far in the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton has not been able to run away with the title as he has with previous seasons. Instead, Max Verstappen is truly giving him a run for his money in the championship battle. Truthfully speaking, Hamilton has never sweated like this since he lost the 2016 title to former teammate Nico Rosberg.

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At Baku, Verstappen crashed out, so it was a golden opportunity for Hamilton to capitalise. Unfortunately, he overcooked his restart and lost a chance to score points when he made a rare mistake.

In light of this, former F1 driver Gerhard Berger admitted that Hamilton is permitted a few mistakes. On the other hand, as long as the mistakes do not cost him in the title race, there should be no problem.

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“In Baku, he knew he had to put everything on the line at the last start to win and that’s where it just went wrong. That can happen,” said Berger. “It’s particularly interesting that Mercedes are weakening under the pressure of Red Bull. Then there’s Ferrari joining them, or McLaren doing a great job with Norris.

“Even Gasly with his AlphaTauri could be up at the front. That is exactly the kind of excitement that Formula 1 and the fans need.”

How does Max Verstappen compare to Nico Rosberg?

It is worth noting that the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix was the last time Hamilton finished out of the points. Meanwhile, the Briton has hardly been challenged by teammate Valtteri Bottas. The last time they shared a podium was in Barcelona.

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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

Berger admitted that Rosberg was the last real threat to Lewis Hamilton. However, the Austrian noted that Hamilton’s rivalries are different from each other.

He observed that Verstappen is an easier opponent because the Dutch driver is in a different car. Had he been teammates with the Briton, would have felt like ‘an insult’, according to Berger.

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Dhruv George

11780 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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