Jos Verstappen: Imola shoulder brush hints at F1 battle tension

The shoulder brush between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after qualifying at Imola is a sign of how intense things could get between Formula 1's title rivals, reckons Jos Verstappen.

Jos Verstappen: Imola shoulder brush hints at F1 battle tension

After Hamilton had qualified on pole for the Emilia Romagna GP a fortnight ago, he and Verstappen appeared to accidentally brush shoulders as they walked past each other in parc ferme.

But while the moment did not appear to be the result of deliberate tension between the pair, Verstappen's father thinks that it offers a glimmer of how things could pan out as the title battle intensifies.

Speaking on an Instagram Live session on Thursday with Ziggo Sport, one-time F1 podium finisher Verstappen Sr. said he was relishing the fight ahead.

PLUS: How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

"You don't know how it will go of course, but if I look at the shoulder nudge they gave each other after qualifying at Imola, I think we can expect something this year," said the 49-year-old, who made 106 F1 stars for the Benetton, Simtek, Arrows, Tyrrell, Stewart and Minardi teams between 1994 and 2003.

"They are both men that don't want to be outdone by the other. Neither of them will let the other push them aside, especially if it will be more and more about the title this season.

"I think it's going to be an intense and great year."

Max Verstappen is in the best position he has ever had to launch a full-on world title challenge, with Mercedes acknowledging that Red Bull has the stronger package in the final year of F1's current regulations.

Jos Verstappen, Max Verstappen Bahrain 2021 testing

Jos Verstappen, Max Verstappen Bahrain 2021 testing

Photo by: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has rejected the favourite tag applied by Mercedes, saying the seven-time title-winners have used the label to pile pressure on Horner's team, which last won the world title with Sebastian Vettel in 2013.

Asked about neither team wanting to be favourite, Verstappen said: "I think that Red Bull and Mercedes are almost equally matched this year.

"Toto Wolff keeps saying that Red Bull has the better car and Christian Horner in turn says that Mercedes has the better one. But I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.

"At every circuit the favourite differs, depending on what suits a particular car. But that creates extra pressure as well.

"The fact that we can win every single race, in theory, gives more peace of mind I would say, as we know that Max is in the right place at Red Bull. But yeah, at the same time it does bring extra pressure."

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes F1 team announces partnership to improve diversity drive
Previous article

Mercedes F1 team announces partnership to improve diversity drive

Next article

McLaren calls for secret ballots on F1 rule changes

McLaren calls for secret ballots on F1 rule changes
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022