Mika Hakkinen, a two-time Formula 1 World Champion, has weighed in on the British Grand Prix crash involving Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, and expects it will only push them to race even harder in the future.
Many former and current drivers have shared their opinion on the clash, with many leaning towards it being a racing incident, which is the same conclusion Hakkinen reached when he saw the crash, revealing it caused him to jump out of his seat.
“Sunday’s collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the British Grand Prix was a pure racing incident. When you are racing at those speeds and going for the win, these things can sometimes happen,” he wrote in a column for Unibet.
“As a top driver, going for the World Championship, you are not there to back off. It’s our job to race, and I know from my own experiences that when you are racing wheel-to-wheel there is always the possibility of the cars touching.
“When I saw them touch I stood up and thought ‘Oh My God’, because that is such a high speed corner. It’s very fast and not one at which you want to go off. I am very glad that Max was unhurt, and it is another sign of just how strong these cars are and the fantastic work which the FIA does to make sure you can walk away from that kind of impact. At 51G, it is the kind of impact that would not have been easy to survive in the past.”
With two highly competitive drivers, Hakkinen says it’s no surprise they clashed and expects the pair will race even harder for the remainder of the season.
“Max is feeling very confident. He has won five Grands Prix this year and is leading the World Championship. He made such a great start, and was not going to give up the position to Lewis very easily, particularly at such a fast corner which then leads into a complex of three corners – Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel – where overtaking is not really possible.
“Lewis is equally confident in himself and his car. He has achieved so much success, and has so much experience, which means he is very focused on the win, and to gaining track position over Max.
“This accident will really put some fire between these guys and their battle for the World Championship. Neither of them will want to repeat that accident, but they will be even more determined not to lift off the throttle the next time they are in this kind of close battle. We are going to see them fight hard for the rest of the season. It’s going to be really fascinating.”