Nico Rosberg does not believe the flashpoints are over in Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s battle of the generations.
What had been a respectful title battle turned feisty in short order after Hamilton and Verstappen collided on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, with the Red Bull camp venting their fury after Verstappen’s DNF.
The Dutchman also had some criticism for Hamilton, feeling his victory celebrations were disrespectful as he watched from hospital, waiting to be given the all-clear after checks following the crash.
All eyes now are on the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, at a venue where we will see exactly how that crash has impacted this epic battle for the 2021 Drivers’ title.
Rosberg, the 2016 World Champion, sees this as a battle of the generations with seven-time champion Hamilton defending his turf against rising star Verstappen, and he does not see the fight concluding without further incidents.
“Of course, you can put a little bit more blame on one or the other, but in the end it’s the battle of the generations. Both will not leave the other even a centimetre,” Rosberg told Sky Sports of that much-debated collision at Silverstone.
“We’ve seen that already in previous races, it’s not the first time they had contact. They already had contact at Imola, turn one, and we will see more I’m sure.
“It’s this generational battle – the best guy of the last generation, or even at the moment, and the best guy of the next generation. It’s really reminiscent of Senna-Schumacher, Schumacher-Alonso and Alonso-Vettel maybe.”
Hamilton thinks Verstappen is too aggressive:
To further spike interest in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Formula 1 is heading to a venue in the Hungaroring which Rosberg believes should suit both Hamilton and Verstappen.
For Hamilton, it is proven. If he claims victory there in 2021, it will see him take a ninth win at this circuit, a tally which would mark a new record for most victories at a single venue.
And on Verstappen’s side, the Red Bull RB16B performed well at Monaco and Baku, both twisty street circuits which can be compared to the Hungaroring.
“Before Austria it was Mercedes that had the stronger package. After Austria it was suddenly Red Bull that had a much stronger package. Now Mercedes might be back, so even there, in that dynamic, who knows?” Rosberg explained.
“Hungary is a very different track again, it’s more like Monaco-style so you’d probably put Red Bull ahead there.
“But it’s a Lewis track. It’s one of Lewis’ best tracks ever. Hungary, Montreal, maybe Silverstone, I would put right up there. In Hungary, Lewis is unbelievably fast so, wow, I mean who knows?”