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Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen rivalry ‘fantastic for F1’

The championship rivals are separated by six points with six races of the season remaining

Jamie Braidwood
Monday 18 October 2021 16:17

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s rivalry is “fantastic” for Formula 1, according to the organisation’s CEO Stefano Domenicali, with the championship title race set for its closest finish in almost 10 years.

Seven-time champion Hamilton trails Verstappen by six points with six races of the season to go and Mercedes are facing the biggest threat to their dominance over the sport since Sebastian Vettel’s last title with Red Bull in 2013.

The season has also been lit up by spectacular clashes between the pair on and off the track with Hamilton and Verstappen coming together at both at Silverstone and Monza.

Domenicali was the head of Ferrari when Fernando Alonso and Vettel’s title battle went down to the last race of the season in both 2010 and 2012 and the Italian has said this season has been the closest since.

“Last time we found ourselves in such a tight fight for the championship, I was on the team side at Ferrari, with the title going down to the final race in 2010 and 2012 – so I know what it means to live this kind of intensity,” Domenicali told Formula 1’s official website.

“It’s fantastic for Formula 1 to have such an intense fight, but I don’t want to only focus on that, as we have the fight for other positions. McLaren and Ferrari, for example, are battling hard for third. And we have battles all the way down the field, with the final positions in the constructors’ championship critical for teams regarding their positioning for the future.

“I can’t wait for the next six events as they are six opportunities for something new and incredible to happen in what has so far been one of the great seasons in F1.”

Mercedes arrive at the United States Grand Prix this week coming off back-to-back wins in Russia and Turkey.

Valtteri Bottas won his first race of the season last time out in Istanbul and although Lewis Hamilton finished outside the podium places, Mercedes’ performance has improved in recent weeks ahead of the closing stages of the season.

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