Stewart: Hamilton and Max ‘are both overdoing it’

Date published: November 3 2021 - Michelle Foster

Max Verstappen goes over the sausage kerb. Italy, September 2021.

Jackie Stewart has warned Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to dial is back a bit, saying both have been “cocky” at moments this season.

Hamilton and Verstappen are putting on a battle for the ages in this year’s title race, the duo trading blows in the standings – and out track.

Already they have had two big collisions, Silverstone and Monza, both of which could have had severe consequences.

Verstappen went to hospital after the British Grand Prix crash, the Red Bull complaining of dizziness, while Hamilton was also dealt a physical blow at the Italian Grand Prix as Verstappen’s RB16B drove over the top of his W12.

Stewart says the two protagonists need to dial it back.

“We should be careful that they don’t get too carried away with the need to win a race,” the triple World Champion said in an interview with Motorsport-Magazin.com.

“I think they are both overdoing it a bit at the moment. We’ve seen that in at least two situations.

“I hope we will remember it in as positive a way as possible because I don’t want anything bad to happen, even though motorsport is so safe these days.

“The accident that happened at Silverstone – in my time he [Verstappen] would have died.

“I think the problem at Silverstone was that they both did things they shouldn’t have done so early in the race.

“I think they were both cocky. But the sport has changed and is safer than ever before. That is why there are not the same penalties.

“Maybe drivers are taking too many liberties and I think that should be avoided.”

Hamilton and Verstappen go into this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, round 18 of the season, separated by just 12 points, the Dutchman having doubled his lead with a victory at the United States Grand Prix.

But while Verstappen has out-scored Hamilton in four of the six races since the summer break, Stewart believes it is the Brit and his more experienced Mercedes team who will come out on top.

“To be first, you first have to cross the finish line first,” he added.

 

“It could go to either of them.

“In the end, though, I think Mercedes probably have the best chance of winning it because of the experience they have and the driver.

“So in the end it will be decisive who has the fewest technical problems, because they both drive great cars.”

Hamilton and Mercedes are chasing a record-breaking eighth championship double, Mercedes are 23 points ahead of Red Bull.