Formula 1 in Silverstone: Verstappen’s file with the Brit-Boys: Further trouble guaranteed

Formula 1 in Silverstone: Verstappen’s file with the Brit-Boys: Further trouble guaranteed
Formula 1 in Silverstone: Verstappen’s file with the Brit-Boys: Further trouble guaranteed

Verstappen against Norris, against Russell, against Hamilton. Verstappen against three Brits on their home turf. That can hardly end well, even if Norris suddenly appears to be as tame as possible.

One thing is clear: Max Verstappen will not back down in the home of the Brit boys. Verstappen against Lando Norris, Verstappen against George Russell and above all Verstappen against Lewis Hamilton. The file is already full and the next argument is inevitable. Especially since the Verstappen bosses further fueled the already heated atmosphere after the escalation in Spielberg.

“It was pathetic how Norris acted on the radio,” Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said on the Austrian portal oe24.at. Norris’ comments that Verstappen should apologize were not very helpful.

“Max will certainly not change what he does,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner announced on British broadcaster Sky Sports. “Max is a tough racing driver – probably one of the toughest on the track. And everyone knows that he gives it his all when someone races against him.”

Norris has known this since Sunday. But there was nothing left of the angry Norris, who even demanded an apology, on the sofa at the press conference in Silverstone on Thursday. “Max doesn’t want to have an accident, he doesn’t want to ruin his own race,” explained Norris tamely: “Max has a different style of driving than many others. That’s why he’s the champion.”

Verstappen vs. Hamilton: The Silverstone crash

The 2021 World Championship battle in particular is pushing the limits – and beyond. Here is Hamilton, the seven-time world champion from Mercedes, there is Verstappen, not yet a world champion but the big challenger in the Red Bull. It culminates in the crash at Silverstone. Both cars touch, Verstappen comes off the track and crashes into the track barrier at almost 300 km/h. Hamilton continues driving.

Verstappen has to be checked in hospital. Hamilton receives a ten-second penalty, but still wins his home race. Verstappen reports after the examinations. “Fortunately, I’m fine,” he assures, but: “The penalty that was imposed unfortunately doesn’t help us. And it doesn’t do justice to Lewis’ dangerous maneuver.”

Verstappen’s bosses are even more upset. “For me, such reckless, dangerous behavior should be punished with a ban or something similar,” rages Marko. “He is a seven-time world champion, but that was an amateur mistake. That’s why it was a bad win for me in the end,” says Horner.

Verstappen vs. Russell: The quarrel in Azerbaijan

“Expect the same thing next time, you idiot,” Verstappen said to Russell last year. Immediately after the sprint race in Azerbaijan, the Dutchman confronted his British Mercedes rival. In front of the cameras, in front of the fans – also a way of making it clear who was in charge.

In a close duel, Russell slashes the sidepod of Verstappen’s Red Bull with his car. Russell emphasises that it was because of his cold tyres, he didn’t have enough grip. Verstappen disagrees: “We all have no grip, just leave a bit of space.” And Verstappen says: “He’s very good at explaining things and making excuses.” Russell counters: “I’m here to fight and to win. I’m not going to back out just because he’s leading the world championship.”

Before the next duels on the asphalt of Silverstone, Russell emphasised: “He is pushing the rules to the limit.” But that is what all top drivers do.

Verstappen vs. Norris: No joint return flight

It’s not uncommon for them to fly to the race and back together. They’re actually good buddies. That’s only changed since Spielberg, albeit only briefly, if you believe Norris’ words at Silverstone.

Verstappen’s maneuver, for which he also received a penalty, was one thing, his reaction was another. “If he says he didn’t do anything wrong, then I’ll lose respect for him,” Norris said in Styria. There was no sign of Verstappen apologizing on the track of Verstappen’s employer.

And suddenly it wasn’t necessary anymore. Norris said four days later. He said some things that he didn’t mean. “To be honest, I don’t think he needs to apologize either.” They spoke on Monday and Wednesday, but he didn’t give any details. It’s now “business as usual.”

The chances that the two, as well as Russell and the eight-time Silverstone driver, will again have tough and potentially serious duels with Verstappen on Sunday (3 p.m./Sky) remain extremely high. “Verstappen is a fighter, he’s a bear. And when you get into the ring with a bear, you have to be prepared,” says Formula 1 expert and ex-team owner Eddie Jordan. Norris has certainly been that way since Spielberg.

Source: Stern

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