Ross Brawn doubts Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will back off in the remaining races of 2021, but the F1 chief hopes the title won’t be decided off the track or “in the barriers”.
Three races after their high profile clash at the British Grand Prix in July, Verstappen and Hamilton battled once again last weekend for the same piece of tarmac.
But this time, both drivers came off worse when they slid off the track mid-race at Monza’s first chicane and into a costly retirement.
Verstappen was ultimately blamed for the run-off, but Brawn believes that both drivers could have avoided the skirmish.
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“Max and Lewis visited the stewards after the race and it was Max who was given the blame – and a three-place grid penalty for Russia – for causing the collision at the first chicane,” said Brawn in his post-race column for F1.com.
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“Fans will be split, I’m sure. It’s clear both drivers could have avoided it.
“Ultimately I think it’s another consequence of two guys going head to head and not wanting to give inch.
“It’s a shame they ended up in the gravel because it could have shaped up to be a great race – and we were deprived of that.
“I’m interested to see what impact this has on their on-going battle for the title. We have lived through Silverstone which was a major and controversial incident.”
Brawn doesn’t believe the on-track fracas between Verstappen and Hamilton, or its consequences, will deter the two drivers from butting heads in the remaining rounds given the stakes at play.
“Personally, I wouldn’t say it has changed the dynamic. You’ve got two cockerels in the farmyard at the moment and we are seeing the consequence of it,” added Brawn.
“I don’t think either will back off at any moment for the rest of the year but I hope the championship is won on the track not in the barriers or the stewards room.”
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