Hamilton-Verstappen crash will “put some fire” between F1 title rivals

Former F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen believes the accident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will “put some fire” between the two F1 title rivals.

Hamilton and Verstappen made contact at the high-speed Copse corner on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, with the fallout igniting what was already a tantalising championship season.

Hakkinen, who took the title in 1998 and 1999, has insisted the incident will only make repeat incidents more likely with neither willing to yield.

“This accident will really put some fire between these guys and their battle for the world championship,” Hakkinen wrote in his personal blog.

“Neither of them will want to repeat that accident, but they will be even more determined not to lift off the throttle the next time they are in this kind of close battle.

“We are going to see them fight hard for the rest of the season. It’s going to be really fascinating.

“Max is feeling very confident. He has won five grands prix this year and is leading the world championship.

“He made such a great start, and was not going to give up the position to Lewis very easily, particularly at such a fast corner.

“Lewis is equally confident in himself and his car. He has achieved so much success, and has so much experience, which means he is very focused on the win, and to gaining track position over Max.”

Verstappen impact “would not have been easy to survive” in past

Verstappen’s crash was frightening, with an impact on the barriers registering 51g through the onboard safety sensor – the second-worst behind Romain Grosjean‘s fiery incident in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

It has again reminded Hakkinen of the dangers of the sport and that Verstappen would have been in a worse state had the crash have taken place in the past.

“When I saw them touch I stood up and thought ‘Oh my God!’, because that is such a high-speed corner,” added Hakkinen.

“It’s very fast and not one at which you want to go off. I am very glad that Max was unhurt, and it is another sign of just how strong these cars are and the fantastic work which the FIA does to make sure you can walk away from that kind of impact.

“At 51g, it is the kind of impact that would not have been easy to survive in the past.”

It has since been revealed Verstappen sustained nothing more than a stiff neck.