Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have been in a tight battle for the 2021 Driver’s championship. They’ve also had two incidents while racing each other. Valtteri Bottas feels that’s no cause for concern.
This year’s title fight between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is one of the closest we have seen in the Turbo-Hybrid era. With the lead swinging pendulum-like between the two contenders, there have been some close calls as well.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas feels that the tight rivalry between the two drivers on track is no cause for concern as there is no bitter rivalry. This is despite everything they may say regarding each other in the heat of the moment.
Citing an example of the relationship between the two championship rivals, Bottas brought up Turkey.
“If I look at Turkey, I saw them having a chat and felt like everything is normal,” stated the Finnish driver. “It is competition and when you’re competing hard on track, you’re not trying to make friends,” he continued.
“But Lewis and Max, they’re both adults so they also know that that is the name of the game. And I don’t think it’s anything personal. That’s my view.”
Bottas expression after being asked about the crash between Hamilton and Verstappen is priceless.
— Inside The Paddock | Best F1® Memes (@PaddockMemes) September 12, 2021
Verstappen and Hamilton have been on the podium together on many occasions this year itself after having fought hard for positions. Giving the driver’s point of view in such a situation, the Finn further elaborated.
“If you’re on the podium after a race that you’ve been wheel-to-wheel with someone, you still have adrenaline and you might feel tension, but that’s completely normal in the sport. So for me, it’s all normal.”
The American Challenge
Mercedes by popular opinion and sheer straight-line speed look to be the favourites for this week’s Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Red Bull seemed to be struggling in Turkey the entire weekend whereas Mercedes have looked the stronger team for the last two Grands Prix. Mercedes can attribute their newfound straight-line speed to the new ICE’s which they are running.
However, not all hope is lost for Red Bull in their championship bid. The new Mercedes ICE’s are also creating reliability issues which may leave no option for the Brixworth-based team other than taking on further engine penalties.
Also, the return of Red Bull chief Car Designer Adrian Newey should help the Bulls solve their set-up problems which plagued them throughout the Turkish GP.
The gap between Verstappen and Hamilton in the Driver’s standings is a mere six points in the Dutchman’s favour.