Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen “Weren’t Looking at Each Other” After Spanish GP

Published 05/11/2021, 7:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who finished in second place REUTERS/Albert Gea

The story until the start of this season had been Lewis Hamilton beating his rivals to a pulp and securing the title with a hefty amount of lead in the standings. However, there’s a certain Max Verstappen in the mix now.


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And considering he is much younger and hungrier for titles, the Dutchman’s aggression on the track has been quite significant, constantly looking to pounce on every opportunity that comes in his way.

Hence, with each race passing by, the rivalry is boiling further, and there is something interesting that Tom Clarkson managed to notice over the podium ceremony in Barcelona.


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The F1 podcast host reckoned that there was no eye contact between Hamilton and Verstappen throughout the ceremony, and this was never the case in the past races. Hence, this avoidance is clearly a subtle hint that their rivalry is starting to loom off the track as well.

What did Clarkson say?

During a podcast, Clarkson opened up about how the Spanish GP race changed the dynamics of the rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen.

I think when Lewis was saying after the race, ‘I learned a lot about the way Max was driving’, I think that was a direct reference to what happened at turn 1 and that this guy is so ruthless and is a total pain in the ass,” he said in the F1 Nation podcast.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Nacho Doce

They weren’t looking at each other. There was much more of an edge.”

The gap between the duo is starting to get bigger, with Hamilton pulling off what has been his career-best start to an F1 season. Hence, Verstappen will want to pull back the difference, and as a matter of fact, he could.

The upcoming race weekend will be in Monaco, a circuit where Red Bull have performed fairly better than their rivals. But the concern is whether they will stand a chance against Hamilton, who is in a blazing form at the moment.

Max lent on Lewis Hamilton at turn 1: Clarkson

For the second time this season, the Dutchman dived ahead of Hamilton going into turn 1 during the race start; first in Imola and now in Barcelona. Hence, Clarkson felt that this is causing massive discomfort between the two, steadily fueling their rivalry as well.

It was all very easy after that (Portugal GP) race. Fast-forward seven days to yesterday in the Spanish Grand Prix. Much more of an edge in the room,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium winning the race with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

And I think there were various trigger points; one is turn 1. For the second time in three races, Max has really lent on Lewis at turn 1. And Lewis has had to take avoiding action to stop them from colliding.


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Every one of the four races so far has had a wheel-to-wheel battle between Hamilton and Verstappen. While the latter came ahead once, the former has won the duel thrice.

Furthermore, there is no denying that this duel will sustain until the very end of this season. And this ultimately lands us on one question. Is Verstappen worthy enough to end Hamilton’s title spree? Well, we’ll know in months’ time.


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Rohit Kumar

1174 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.