Echoes of Silverstone as F1 rivals renew front row duel
The opening corners could be critical but Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said there was no reason to assume a repeat of Silverstone
Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix start will have the fans on the edge of their seats as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton face off on the front row for the first time since they collided at Silverstone in July.
This time Verstappen has home advantage, as well as pole position again, and a crowd of 70,000 almost entirely on the Red Bull driver’s side in the first Dutch Formula One race in 36 years.
The 23-year-old is three points adrift of seven times Formula One world champion Hamilton but set to wrest back the overall lead at a fast track where overtaking is likely to be difficult.
The opening corners could be critical but Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said there was no reason to assume a repeat of Silverstone, were Hamilton won and Verstappen ended up in hospital, was on the cards.
“The two protagonists will start side by side more often this season and I don’t think we can really assume that it will always end up in an incident,” the Austrian told reporters.
“They are both among the best ones and they know that every win counts but they will do it fair and square but hard,” he added.
“In a way we need to stop referring to the Silverstone incident, because we are going to do this another five times this year when they are standing side by side.”
Verstappen has won six races so far this year, and started six of the last seven on pole position, while Hamilton has won four and had only three poles but been more consistent than his rival.
Wolff said he would not be discussing the strategy for turn one and two with Hamilton.
“The drivers are going to discuss with their respective engineers about various plays, possibility of plays, but we don’t need to refer back to him how to drive, what is at stake, because he knows best.”
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