'Verstappen taking full advantage of there being no specific rule'

20-09-2021 11:37 | Updated: 20-09-2021 12:51
by GPblog.com
'Verstappen taking full advantage of there being no specific rule'

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton concede absolutely nothing in the battles on track and according to Mark Hughes the Dutch driver is even more aggressive in his approach than the seven-time world champion. The experienced F1 connoisseur sees Verstappen always give Hamilton the choice to either concede or crash.

"It’s a very raw, intense competition and Verstappen’s unambiguous binary approach in close combat – perhaps best summarised as ‘yield or we crash’ – and Hamilton’s refusal to always yield, is pushing them into dangerous territory which the rulebook doesn’t adequately cover," Hughes said in his column for The Race.

According to the journalist, Formula 1 has evolved so rapidly that the rules may need to be looked at again. "Ever since F1 car braking zones became blink-brief decades ago, and in the subsequent massively increased safety of cars and tracks, the dividing line between a legitimate challenge and a more bullying ‘yield or crash’ move has become paper-thin."

Verstappen never hesitates

Verstappen is taking full advantage of this in the pinnacle of motorsport these days, according to Hughes, just a little more so than Hamilton. "But he [Hamilton] treads that line rather than crosses over it. Verstappen simply stakes his claim with no ambiguity, taking full advantage of there being no specific rule which says you are not allowed to place the decision on the other driver about whether there will be contact or not. So it then falls upon the ‘other driver’ – ie Hamilton usually – to decide if they will avoid him or not. Usually they do, but not always."

Verstappen and Hamilton have also encountered each other more often in recent years, but the situation in 2021 is quite different. Hughes sees that too: "It’s not a new thing, this niggle between Verstappen and Hamilton on this very point. But it’s the first time it’s counted in the destiny of the title," he concludes. Verstappen is five points ahead of his World Championship rival after fourteen Grands Prix.

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