Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have been involved in several wheel to wheel duels during the 2021 Formula One season since the inaugural event in Bahrain, where the Dutch driver put his wheels lightly on the asphalt during the overtaking move and was punished with a five-second penalty. Then the close duels continued in Imola at the first corner, where the Red Bull driver accompanied Hamilton on the corners to the Variante del Tamburello. The overtaking between the two continued in Portimao and Barcelona, until the first major accident that saw the contenders for the title at Silverstone in Great Britain as protagonists, a collision with a very high toll for Max Verstappen, who lost 25 points out of more than thirty of advantage at that time of the season also losing the power unit with which he was equipped due to a issue resulting from the impact at 51 G.
According to former Scuderia Ferrari driver René Arnoux, the Silverstone accident allowed Max Verstappen to take a step forward in terms of maturity and strategy: “I think the Silverstone off-track crash made him think, it could have had far more serious consequences. Monza was a different thing. They did not risk their safety and neither of them gave up. This is their duel “, the analysis of the former Renault, Ferrari and Ligier driver interviewed by Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has exploded this season and could not be otherwise. The stakes are too high for both of them as Rene Arnoux points out: “They hate each other, a competitive hatred, on the track, outside of it I don’t know, I don’t think so. It’s just that this title is too important for both of them. For Lewis it means history, while Max knows he can’t waste this opportunity” – the former Ferrari driver concluded.