The “generational rivalry” between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has stepped up a notch this week.
Mercedes and Hamilton face an inquiry on Thursday into the British driver’s role in the Silverstone crash that put Verstappen out of the race.
Hamilton was found to be “predominately at fault” by stewards during the race and was handed a 10-second pit penalty, only to work his way back through the field to win his eighth Silverstone Grand Prix.
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Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - GP of Great Britain 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
But Red Bull have lodged an appeal with the Formula One chiefs, believing that the punishment was insufficient.
"It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner said in his post-race column.
The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.
"The other significant factor is the cost-cap element of this. That crash has cost us approximately $1.8million (£1.3m) and an accident like that has massive ramifications in a budget cap era.
Hamilton’s win pulled him to within eight points in the F1 drivers' standings, with the Brit and Verstappen winning nine of the ten races so far this season – four and five respectively.
Hamilton is no stranger to public rivalries, but one of his previous foes, Nico Rosberg, says this pairing is a generational battle, equivalent to the likes of Michael Schumacher’s battles with Ayrton Senna and Fernando Alonso.
And Rosberg also believes that the intensity of the rivalries will see more crashes in future.
"It was a close-fought battle throughout all the corners after the start. Then there it was just a little bit over the edge and they touched," he told Sky Sports. "That's why there are different opinions and I like to call it a racing incident as well.
Of course, you can put a little bit more blame on one or the other, but in the end it's the battle of the generations. Both will not leave the other even a centimetre.
"We've seen that already in previous races, it's not the first time they had contact. They already had contact in Imola, turn one, and we're going to see more I'm sure.”
That’s something that Hamilton’s boss Toto Wolff agrees with, with the Mercedes boss saying this week that: “it certainly will not be the last time they fight for position and hopefully they can do it in a sportsmanlike way.
“If not, we will see more collisions,” Wolff added.
F1 Driver Standings
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 185pts
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 177pts
- Lando Norris (McLaren Mercedes) - 113pts
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 108pts
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) - 104pts
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