F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Alain Prost believes another crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the Dutch Grand Prix is inevitable. Verstappen took early control of the 2021 Drivers’ Championship race, but dramatically crashed out of the British Grand Prix after colliding with Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion then moved atop the championship standings at the Hungaroring as Verstappen limped home in ninth.
The Dutchman was declared the winner of last weekend’s aborted Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, narrowing Hamilton’s lead to just three points.
Now, the pair are set to start alongside one another on the front row at Zandvoort and racing legend Prost believes we could see a repeat of the incident at Silverstone – the last time the duo started P1 and P2.
The Frenchman and four-time world champion admitted he is enjoying the intensity of their titanic battle for the title, which has been likened to his explosive rivalry with fellow great Ayrton Senna.
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“I also watch the whole thing as a fan,” Prost told De Telegraaf.
“And I hope the fight will last until the last race. As a fan, you want to see drivers fight bitterly like Max and Lewis are doing right now.”
After a tight qualifying session allowed Verstappen to take pole at his home Grand Prix with Hamilton alongside him, the prospect of another crash akin to Silverstone is certainly possible.
In fact, as the two title rivals have a near-identical pace around the Dutch circuit, a crash on Sunday’s opening lap is likely.
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“What happened at Silverstone is not necessarily what you want to see, but it’s almost inevitable,” the 66-year-old said.
“I hope it doesn’t happen too often.”
However, Prost – who has a high-level role at Alpine F1 – is thoroughly enjoying the mouth-watering clash between the young bull in Verstappen against the established, veteran champion Hamilton.
“Max is a fighter who can put Lewis under pressure and that’s good for the sport,” Prost added.
“Everyone is a fan of Max since he started in Formula 1. I still remember interviewing him after his first win and being amazed at how mature he was.
“Of course he has made his mistakes, but that’s part of the process. In the meantime, he hardly makes mistakes anymore and has a wealth of experience.”
After a trip to Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the Dutch Grand Prix is the second week in an F1 triple-header ahead of next week’s Italian Grand Prix.
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