Rosberg expects more contact in ‘generational’ Hamilton-Verstappen F1 battle

Nico Rosberg says he expects more contact between Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen this season in what he has described as being a “battle of the generations”.
(L to R): Lewis
(L to R): Lewis
© FIA Pool Image for Editorial Use

F1 2021’s leading protagonists came together in a controversial collision at the British Grand Prix as Verstappen suffered a huge 51G impact and Hamilton went on to win the race to reduce his main rival’s championship advantage.

The outcome of the clash prompted a war of words between Red Bull and Mercedes and the fallout has spilled over into the build-up of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, with Red Bull lodging a right of review of the 10-second time penalty given to Hamilton.

And 2016 world champion Rosberg reckons there is yet more drama to  come between the pair as the title race hots up.

"First and foremost, the most important is health so it was important to see Max walk out, to have his checks in hospital and everything to be ok,” Rosberg told Sky Sports.

"Then after that, it was just an amazing battle. As a pundit for Sky Sports and as a fan of the sport, it's so awesome. I'm personally excited now for the next race. How is the dynamic going to play out?

"Even just the next press conference on Thursday - I wish F1 put them both in there to have them next to each other! It's so cool."

Asked for his view on the clash, Rosberg replied: “It’s not a 100 percent obvious one.

“It was a close-fought battle throughout all the corners after the start, and then there it was just a little bit over the edge and then they touched. That’s why there’s different opinions as well and I like to call it a racing incident as well.

“Of course, you can put a little bit more blame on one or the other but in the end it’s the battle of the generations. Both will not leave the other even a centimetre and we’ve seen that already in previous races.

“It’s not the first time they had contact. They already had contact in Imola, in Turn 1, and we’re going to see more, I’m sure.

“It’s this generational battle, the best guy of the last generation or even at the moment, and the best guy of the next generation. It’s really reminding [me] of the Senna-Schumacher, Schumacher-Alonso, and Alonso-Vettel maybe.”

Rosberg believes Hamilton’s dive on Verstappen was born out of his desire to win the British GP in front of a full home crowd, rather than because he was 33 points down on Verstappen heading into the race.

“Yes, his [Hamilton’s] title was slipping away because Max just had a quicker car, was quicker, unstoppable,” Rosberg added.

“I don’t think he would think too much about it. It’s just: ‘I want to win Silverstone, this is my race,’ and both of them just continuing their level of aggression really, both of them not yielding at all.

“And this is going to play out for the rest of the season.”

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