Wolff Explains Why Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen ‘Haven’t Crossed the Line’ in F1 Title Fight

Published 05/03/2021, 3:18 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


It is clear to many that the 2021 championship battle is between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Obviously, the two F1 stars will go at each other hammer and tongs through the season.

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Truthfully, there is always a danger that they may get too invested in the battle and take things a little too far. However, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff insisted that they will respect each other. This is largely because both drivers are aware that a single DNF could be costly to their title hopes.

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

“I think they are not crossing the line on the track yet, because the risk of losing points is just too big,” Wolff said. “But it’s going to go head-to-head, and certainly the rivalry may increase or not.

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“I see Lewis completely relaxed about the situation. He enjoys every bit working with the team and getting us up to speed because we weren’t there. It’s just a fun place.”

Can Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton keep it clean?

The last time two title rivals made it personal, Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg took each other out. This took place in the 2016 season when the two of them collided at the Spanish Grand Prix. As the season progressed, their relationship got worse and took a toll on both of them.

To that end, Wolff is confident that Hamilton and Verstappen are mature enough. As experienced drivers, they can respect each other’s boundaries, and engage in close racing at the same time. Had they been rookie drivers, their over-enthusiasm would have resulted in multiple collisions.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Race winner Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference with second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Obviously, no F1 team likes to see their car crash out, as it costs them championship points. However, an even bigger headache would be the repair bills, as each part of the respective cars are exceedingly expensive.

Although a team like Mercedes or Red Bull can afford it, there is only so much that they can allow before it starts burning a hole in their pockets.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Continue to Keep It Clean” – Lewis Hamilton Does Not Plan to Race ‘Any Closer’ to Max Verstappen

4 days ago

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Dhruv George

11386 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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