F1 should let Hamilton/Verstappen duel rip, says Webber

Formula 1 shouldn't do anything to temper the fierce rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, says grand prix winner Mark Webber.

F1 should let Hamilton/Verstappen duel rip, says Webber

The Australian has called on the category to embrace the rivalry between the two star drivers, and the growing tension between the Mercedes and Red Bull squads off the back of the controversial first-lap clash at Silverstone.

Hamilton was handed a 10-second time penalty for his role in the clash - which resulted in a 51g impact for Verstappen - but still fought back to win the British Grand Prix.

That prompted some fiery reaction from the Red Bull camp, Hamilton accused of dirty driving by Christian Horner, while Helmut Marko even called for him to be benched for a race.

Speaking during a W Series media call on Tuesday, Webber was asked if Formula 1 should intervene to stop the rivalry escalating.

His answer was a resounding no, the nine-time grand prix winner hoping we see more intense wheel-to-wheel action as the season wears on.

"It's brilliant. It's exactly what we want," he said.

"I think it was one of the best first laps we've seen in a long time.

"It's been coming, they've had some brilliant wheel-to-wheel battles – Barcelona, Imola, Bahrain. We all knew this was coming. Bring on more of it.

"The sense of occasion at Silverstone was just extraordinary, it was one of the best grands prix I've been to in a long time. The fans, 120,000 there on race day. The two big boys on the front row.

"A brilliant first lap – they just missed each other in Turn 1 on the exit, wheel-to-wheel on the run to Brooklands, and the obviously Lewis had a go into Copse and it didn't quite work out."

The British GP triumph for Hamilton and DNF for Verstappen has put the title fight on a knife-edge, the Dutchman's lead in the standings now just eight points.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Looking ahead to this weekend's Hungarian GP, Webber says Verstappen should have the car advantage, but that Hamilton has proven he can win at the Hungaroring in inferior equipment in the past.

"I think that Lewis is magical at Budapest, he's absolutely phenomenal at that track," said Webber. "Mind you Max is handy as well.

"I think the Red Bull will be strong at that track, so Max could have a bit of a Red Bull Ring sort of weekend – pole and then disappear. Lewis might not get a punch on him.

"But let's see. As I said, Hamilton has won a lot of races at the Hungaroring in sub-par machinery.

"Races he had no right to win, but he did win. Hamilton is going to need to be at his best again. Verstappen is... you know, he's a gladiator. That's exactly what we expect of him.

"It's going to be a good weekend."

Read Also:

Webber also tipped more clashes between the two contenders as they do battle for the 2021 crown.

"Every race is important now, and inevitably there will be some more carbon fibre between the pair of them going into the air," he added.

"But happy days, that's what we watch the sport for. Two of the best duking it out."

shares
comments

Related video

2021 F1 Hungarian GP session timings and how to watch

Previous article

2021 F1 Hungarian GP session timings and how to watch

Next article

Red Bull lodges FIA request to review Silverstone F1 clash

Red Bull lodges FIA request to review Silverstone F1 clash
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021