Andretti praises stewards: So glad there was no penalty

Andretti praises stewards: "So glad there was no penalty"

17-11-2021 14:00 Last update: 17-11-2021 14:00

A top driver recognises another top driver when he sees one. Without a doubt, this also applies to Mario Andretti, probably the greatest American racing driver of all time. The now 81-year-old Andretti is on the edge of his seat enjoying every Grand Prix. In an exclusive interview with GPblog, the 1978 World Champion shares his views on the intense title fight between Hamilton and Verstappen.


During the Brazilian Grand Prix, there was the much-discussed moment when Verstappen and Hamilton fought each other so hard that both had to leave the track for a moment. The stewards decided not to award any penalties, which angered Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton's team decided to request a review of the incident one hour after the meeting with Andretti.

"To be honest with you, at this level of the sport, unless it is something really, really flagrant, that you could see: this is something dangerous, that could really hurt someone, that is different," Andretti says. "Hard racing that these two of the best talents that you will ever have, going at each other for the biggest prize, let them do it! Let them drive! I am so happy that there was no penalty on that. That you don’t have any stewards deciding the world championship. That could very well be. Like I said, at this level, let these guys deal with each other. There is respect there, they are not going to hurt each other. So let them race!

Huge rivalry

The rivalry between Verstappen and Hamilton is huge. "I am loving it!" Andretti. "I love to see what these two great drivers do. Any rivalry brings out the best of any of the individuals involved. We have seen this. We have seen Max driving beautifully, and so Lewis as well. That’s what every fan in sports want to see. That individuals and teams be able to perform under the utmost pressure. And then come out with results. Lewis did a phenomenal job with all the penalties and everything going against him in Brazil. And then he comes - not just with points - he comes away with a win. And now it’s Max’s turn to do this."

Andretti also cites the race in Austin. "Even the way Max has performed in COTA in Austin, by leading in a place where usually Mercedes has an advantage because of a long straight. And he was able to defend, be solid and be without any mistake whatsoever. Even though there were no lead changes, it was really nail-biting just to watch, you could see how much pressure he was on. He (Max) handled that perfectly. Anyone that appreciates what the sport is all about: you are witnessing the best the sport has to offer. No question."

The full video of the interview will appear on our channels soon!

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