Jos Verstappen says Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s shoulder bump at Imola was the start with the protagonists showing they won’t “let the other push them aside”.
Having claimed the victory at the season-opening Bahrain GP, crossing the line 0.7s ahead of Max Verstappen, Hamilton went on to take pole position at Imola with Verstappen third.
Having had his interview immediately after qualifying, it was Hamilton’s turn next with the two title protagonists walking past one another – but on a collision course.
Neither gave way, the two bumping shoulders with Hamilton turning back to look at the Red Bull driver.
Fans can chose how, or how little, they want to read into those actions with Verstappen’s father, Jos, saying he feels it was the two showing each other that they won’t be pushed around.
“You don’t know how it will go, but if I look at the shoulder bump they gave each other after qualifying at Imola, I think we can expect something this year,” the former F1 driver told Ziggo Sport’s Jack van Gelder according to Racingnews365.
“They are obviously two men who do not want to be beaten by the other.
“Neither of them will let the other push them aside, especially if it will be more and more about the championship.
“I think it’s going to be a tough and beautiful year.”
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With both Verstappen and Hamilton having one race win and one second placed result, the two are separated in the Drivers’ standings by Hamilton’s fastest lap point from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Both Red Bull and Mercedes have been billing each other as the favourite for the race wins and the titles.
Verstappen reckons the battle will swing between the two teams.
“Toto Wolff keeps shouting that Red Bull is the best team, while Christian Horner says Mercedes is the favourite,” the 49-year-old added.
“In the end, we are better on one circuit and Mercedes is better on the other.
“The fact that we can theoretically win every race is what matters, but it also brings more pressure.”
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