Hill urges Max/Hamilton to move on from bad blood

Finley Crebolder
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the podium. Abu Dhabi December 2021

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the podium after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Abu Dhabi December 2021

Damon Hill has urged Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to put their falling-outs of the 2021 season behind them. 

The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers engaged in a title fight with one another for the first time this year, and things often became extremely heated between them both on and off track.

Inside the car, the pair came together a number of times when battling for position while outside of it they were often highly critical of each other when speaking to the press.

They’re set to go head-to-head again next year, and Hill has called for the two to not take any grudges into the campaign, and instead put their clashes behind them rather than creating a feud like the one between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the past.

“I always felt with Michael [Schumacher] that he never thought I was a worthy opponent,” he said on the F1 Nation podcast.

“Then once I beat him in the wet and I think he was slightly impressed by that so I got the sense that, at least on that occasion, [I was worthy] and he came and congratulated me after that race as well.

“It’s great when it happens like that. Let’s have another bash next year and put this behind us, not let it fester. It would be awful if it was a festering resentment that sometimes happens with other drivers.

“Like between Senna and Prost it got very ugly and lasted for quite a while.”

Verstappen was ultimately the one to prevail, and he did so in highly controversial circumstances with Michael Masi’s unusual order to only let the cars between the two title contenders unlap themselves under the Safety Car, giving him the chance to pass his rival on the final lap.

Toto Wolff and Mercedes were furious and made their feelings clear in the aftermath, but Hamilton didn’t do the same, instead congratulating the Dutchman and thanking his own team for their efforts.


With such a reaction, Hill feels the seven-time World Champion claimed a victory of his own in Abu Dhabi, even if it wasn’t the one he wanted.

“Massively impressive dignity in defeat and I think in some ways, that can also be a way of winning as well,” he added.

“It’s not an exact science our sport and sometimes it goes against you and you might feel aggrieved but everyone gave their best and he recognised the greatness in Max, and Max has acknowledged that in Lewis.

“They have found their worthy opponent.”


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