Hamilton and Verstappen were embroiled in an F1 rivalry for the ages last season, as the seven-time world champion and the Red Bull challenger went head-to-head for glory.
Hamilton was “rattled” by the challenge of Max Verstappen last season and had to resort to “desperate” moves to stop the Dutchman, Christian Horner has claimed.
Verstappen would eventually win the title in highly controversial circumstances. But even before that dramatic finale, there were huge flashpoints including several on-track clashes as their title race turned sour.
Speaking on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Horner gave some insight into what the battle between the two drivers was like. Asked if each had succeeded in getting into the others’ head, he replied: “I think arguably more so in Lewis’ head, because he’s a seven-time world champion… he has everything to lose. Max is the young kid that’s taking the risks, that’s throwing everything at it and has got nothing to lose.”
One of the larger incidents involving the two title-chasers took place at the British Grand Prix. The race at Silverstone was over on the first lap for Verstappen, whose Red Bull was clipped by Hamilton’s Mercedes, sending him into the tyre wall at Copse Corner at around 160mph.
That 51G impact saw the Dutchman taken to hospital as a precaution, though thankfully there was no lasting damage. Hamilton was given a 10-second time penalty for causing the crash, but he still went on to easily win the race.
Horner used that weekend as an example of his belief that Hamilton was the racer more affected by the other. He added: “Some of [Verstappen’s] overtaking last year was stunning and you felt that started to rattle Lewis.
“You definitely saw when Lewis qualified on pole at Silverstone and Max won the sprint race, he was a bit broken after the sprint race. Had Max made it through Copse, I don’t think he would have seen him again after that. So there was an air of desperation building as well. It was high-stakes stuff and the emotions run high.”-DailyMirror.