Verstappen deserved no penalty: 'This is what we want to see, right?

16-11-2021 15:35 | Updated: 16-11-2021 16:57
F1 News
Verstappen deserved no penalty: 'This is what we want to see, right?

The first time Lewis Hamilton became world champion, it was after a fierce battle with Felipe Massa in 2008. Only one point was between the two drivers after a nerve-wracking race in Brazil. This weekend in his home country saw the Brazilian reach a turning point in the championship.

Hamilton has nothing to lose

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport Massa waxes lyrical about the Formula One weekend in Brazil. Indeed, after the Mexico Grand Prix, he saw a defeated Mercedes. "I saw Hamilton very down after Mexico. I thought Mercedes had given up a bit, but here in Brazil the situation has turned around."

According to Massa, the sprint race was the key this weekend. "After starting last - which he didn't expect - Lewis made that incredible comeback and when he got out of the car, he felt the Brazilians cheering for him. That warmth made him feel at home." That could give Hamilton a psychological edge. "He has nothing to lose and he has the right attitude, the kind of guy who says 'let's do our best and see what happens'".

No penalty for Verstappen

Max Verstappen defended his leading position hard at Interlagos, some would say too hard. Massa, however, agrees with the stewards' decision not to penalise the Dutchman. "He did a decent job. He didn't make any violent manoeuvres to throw Hamilton out. He just threw his shoulder in a bit and that's what we want to see, right?"

There are still three races to go this season, two of which are at tracks Formula 1 has not driven at before. According to Massa, however, that makes little difference to the title race. "The teams work on the simulator and drivers like Lewis and Max take ten laps to get to know them." What could make the difference though is the new Mercedes engine. "We saw how fast Mercedes went down the straight".

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