Alex Wurz, Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, believes it is “very likely” that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will clash once again in 2021.
The two title protagonists were eliminated from the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month after making contact at Turn 2.
Verstappen was deemed at fault for the incident, and was issued a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix.
It marked another coming together between the duo this year, after they clashed at Imola and Silverstone earlier in the season.
When asked by Sky Sports how likely another incident between Hamilton and Verstappen in 2021, Wurz replied: “I think very likely, to be honest.
“Both have to mark their territory, that’s sport. If you watch boxing, football, handball whatever it is, when two greats are coming together, those things happen. I hope that this will remain fair.
“Outside of the car, I talked to both and they talked to each other, they have great respect for each other, which is really nice to see.
“But on the other side, on the track, it’s ‘we are here to fight, we are here to win the Formula 1 world championship’.
“Don’t get me wrong, they have to fight, it’s part of the game, hopefully with the respect they need, for their own team and own results, not only for each other.
“To finish first, you have to finish first. They can’t afford too many crashes.”
Following the clash at Monza, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the incident was a “tactical foul” from Verstappen, who sensed he was to lose the position to his championship rival.
However, Wurz disagrees with his fellow Austrian, believing Verstappen’s aggressiveness was “normal racing tactics”.
“A comment of Toto, a dear friend of mine, I don’t see it as a tactical foul,” Wurz said.
“I see it as normal racing tactics, when the driver in the lead of the championship is building on that.
“If you are leading in a tennis match, you can afford to be more aggressive, if you are leading in football, you have different tactics. If you are leading the [F1] championship, you can also have different tactics.
“Then it’s down to the second position driver to judge his risk management. In this case it didn’t work out, I think it was more the fault of Max that they collided. But once again, from me, it was a racing incident.”