“We are in for quite a battle” – Ross Brawn is excited for the championship battle this season after both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton missed out on points in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Ross Brawn, the MD of Formula 1, is happy to see a genuine battle for the title brewing this season. This might not have been the case after Max Verstappen crashed out at Baku yesterday, with 5 laps to go. But a brake problem for Lewis Hamilton meant he too came home without points.
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Brawn feels it will test Hamilton’s character, after mostly having it easy for the last few seasons. He trails championship leader Verstappen by a slender 4 point margin, as the action shifts to Paul Ricard for the French GP.
“It was a test of character for Lewis this weekend. Generally he was coming through it very well.
“To have a car that looked so off pace on Friday and get it into a better space on Saturday was a good step. It wasn’t the fastest car, but he knew he could do something with it.
“He was doing a pretty good job and then I don’t know what happened at the restart. He said it was a switch issue. It was obvious the rear brakes were clearly very hot. It didn’t even look close that he was going to make the corner.
“But after Max’s accident, it keeps the championships wide open. While Mercedes and Lewis will be unhappy, given Max’s misfortune, it kind of balances out.
“Red Bull started this year hot, which is the complete opposite of what they did last year. They didn’t come into their own until the second half of the year so their start is an encouraging sign.
“If they can continue this momentum and keep taking the fight to Mercedes, we are in for quite a battle.”