* The cross between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the United States
With only six races remaining on the 2021 calendar for the definition of the Formula 1 championship, the highest category of world motorsport again witnessed a new chapter in the showdown between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the two candidates to win the drivers’ title of the season.
In the second round of free practice on the first day of activity of the United States Grand Prix, the Dutch driver and the British driver met on the track in the first minutes of testing. They both arrived near the last curve of the circuit Of the Americas in Austin, Hamilton did not leave room for Verstappen, he had to go off the track at the entrance to the main straight when they were just three minutes into practice.
The two then followed the track hand in hand and, once they reached the first turn of the circuit, the driver aboard his Red Bull let the Mercedes. In contact with his team, the pilot from the Netherlands marked his anger at the maneuver and insulted the seven-time world champion. “Stupid idiot”, Verstappen told Hamilton, then asked him the gesture with the middle finger in disapproval of his attitude.
It should be noted that this is a new cross between the two great animators of the Formula 1 tournament. A little over a month ago, shortly after the start of Grand Prix in Italy, they both had a dramatic clash, which ended up with the car of the Dutch driver uploaded to the Mercedes of Hamilton. It was on lap 26 of the race that the Briton stopped to change tires. He returned to the track and met the Dutchman, who when he reached the chicane went around the corner to the right and stretched the turning radius.
The two pushed themselves to the maximum and their cars touched, they went to the leca bed where the Red Bull mounted on one of the Silver Arrows. The super slow motion replay shows how part of Verstappen’s car chassis breaks over the Halo of Hamilton’s car, saving its integrity. There were no physical consequences for the riders, but it did reactivate the controversy among the great contenders for the drivers’ title.
After what happened at the Monza racetrack, there was also a confrontation in the preview of the Russian GP, but off the track. At the pre-race press conference, Hamilton was asked if he thinks the pressure in the championship fight affects Max, to which he replied: “Obviously, he won’t admit it and I’m not going to make an assumption, but just I say I remember what it was like when I had my first (title fight) and it’s definitely on the rise. “
In this sense, Verstappen’s response was not long in coming. “Yeah, I’m so nervous I can hardly sleep!” He said wryly. “It’s so horrible to fight for a title, I really hate it! I’m very relaxed with all those things and it doesn’t really bother me, ”added the Dutchman.
Before qualifying and after Sunday’s final, Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship by just six points over Hamilton (262.5 to 256.5). At the end of the second round, the fastest in the US was the Mexican Sergio Checo Pérez with his Red Bull thanks to a time of 1: 34.946 and was followed by Lando Norris (McLaren) and in third place was Hamilton. The Dutchman finished in 8th position, almost a second behind the leader.