Jolyon Palmer, former F1 driver and now an analyst at the BBC, predicts that fans can expect fireworks this season between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
During the first GP of the season, Lewis Hamilton narrowly managed to pull the sheet back, but last weekend in Imola he was quickly dependent on chasing. Max Verstappen won the race in Imola in a dominant way and according to Jolyon Palmer we can look forward to an exciting title battle between the two ruffs.
Palmer thinks that Lewis Hamilton is facing the most important title fight of his career because he now has his most difficult opponent with Max Verstappen.
“If the race in Imola has shown us one thing, it is who will fight for the world title this year. And when you’re in a fight with your rival you can take more risks because if a mistake is made, you will usually be both out, ”said Palmer in the BBC’s ‘Checkered Flag’ podcast.
“When you fight your rival in the championship, you can put your elbows a bit more. It showed the aggression I would like to see in the next twenty-one races. ”
“I think Lewis knows this is the title fight of his career. He also had that in 2007 and 2008 … well, the title fight of the decade. ”
“He hasn’t had a challenger as good as Verstappen, maybe since Fernando Alonso on the same team, but that was when he was a rookie.”
“This is a challenger stronger than Felipe Massa ever was in 2008.”
“We go back to the Rosberg days, but then they rather crashed together than finish in a row. It’s the same now, that’s the fierce rivalry that is already there for this season. ”
The way Hamilton and Verstappen stormed wheel to wheel together to the first chicane shows, according to Palmer, that it is only a matter of time before an incident will occur between the two rivals.
“Hamilton took a risk at the start of the race because he probably would have preferred neither of them to finish the race, rather than finish second behind Verstappen,” said Palmer.
“That was the thing with Rosberg and Hamilton, it’s better to take your chances in 50-50 moments and put your car in the position where you could have a crash if it turns in.”
“You may risk contact, but if it’s your rival, you should do it. I think that at some point we will see a crash between them and I don’t understand how that has not happened in Imola yet. ”
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