Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen battle ending in crash would be ‘sad for F1’, says Damon Hill

‘I just feel like we’ve got an obligation to be sporting’

Sports Staff
Thursday 02 December 2021 15:42
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Damon Hill believes it would “be sad for F1” if Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s fierce rivalry this season is settled by a crash.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by eight points in the drivers’ standings but the Briton has won the last two races and is expected to have superior pace in the penultimate race of the season in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

The pair have already collided twice this season, at Silverstone and Monza, before another incident in Brazil where Verstappen escaped punishment after forcing Hamilton off the track.

Former world champion Hill hopes the battle for the championship can be settled without any unnecessary controversy.

“I think it is sad for F1 [if the title is decided in a crash],” said Hill. “I just feel like we’ve got an obligation to be sporting, I think.

“It would be great if there was a way of getting it resolved, not amicably, but certainly to a satisfaction of... I want to come away with a feeling that this has been a great championship, closely fought by two worthy opponents and the best man in the best team won.

“You don’t want that kind of thing hanging over the championship at the end.”

Hill was famously taken out by Michael Schumacher at the Australian Grand Prix in 1994 in a crash that forced both drivers to retire from the race, handing the German the first of his seven world titles.

Hill fears a similar move may not be out of the question over the course of the final two races, in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi, and believes the FIA should make sure there are clear boundaries in place.

“Let’s say Max is in the lead and it comes to a wheel-to-wheel thing, I would say that for a driver to resist the temptation to be an aggressive defender is extremely high and it’s very difficult to resist that,” he explained.

“I think the point is how can the sport take steps to prevent an unhappy ending to this, you know? We’ve had enough of these championships decided controversially.

“And I think that for all the good work that the sport does it’s slightly undone when we have an unsatisfactory resolution.

“Maybe some sort of clear indication before we go into this that they may decide to impose a points penalty if we have a clash that is deemed to be unfair. And that may be the only way of preventing something like that happening.”

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