Berger: Intense Hamilton/Verstappen fight what F1 needs

The intense title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, which has spilled over into controversy, is exactly what Formula 1 needs, says former grand prix winner Gerhard Berger.

Berger: Intense Hamilton/Verstappen fight what F1 needs

Hamilton and Verstappen will resume their fight in Russia this weekend fresh from their latest collision at the Italian Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

With the Monza clash coming quite soon after the pair tangled at the British Grand Prix in July, there is no indication of there being any let up in their fight for glory.

Berger, who won races for Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren in a lengthy career, thinks that rather than the clashes between the two drivers attracting negative headlines, they are actually helping drive up interest in grand prix racing.

And he suggests that after years where the title battle was pretty much the domain of Mercedes alone, the open content this season is more than welcome.

Speaking about the fallout from Monza, Berger said: “Everything is said already and for me it was a racing incident. If you want to say who could have avoided it more, maybe that was Max, and that is why he got the three places grid penalty as well.

“But much more important is that this is exactly what Formula 1 needs. This is racing. Finally we have two big guys racing each other, and it’s even better that they are from two different teams.

“Can you imagine what would happen if you had a third driver in a Ferrari fighting up front as well? You would have full grandstands and people watching it again.

“This is what Formula 1 was looking for, for so many years. It is so important for the sport to have these kinds of things.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, walks away from his damaged car

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, walks away from his damaged car

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Berger, who is now in charge of the DTM, thinks that the strengths of both drivers makes it hard to predict which one will come out on top.

Read Also:

However, the Austrian thinks it would be better if Verstappen triumphed as that would be something new for F1.

“I think for the entire sport it would be good to have a change,” he said when asked for his thoughts on who he thinks will come out on top. “But having said that, it is also great to have Lewis Hamilton still performing as he does after so many years, still having that killer instinct and having the discipline for so many years.

“I would also love to see Lewis becoming the greatest of all time, so it is really difficult to give you a straight answer on this one.

“But we have seen Lewis winning four championship in a row, and we all know that Max Verstappen is a superstar by now as well. So it would be great to see the young guy come out on top.”

shares
comments

Related video

Does Gasly have reason to be "sad" over his Red Bull snub?
Previous article

Does Gasly have reason to be "sad" over his Red Bull snub?

Next article

'New world' thinking opens door for better F1, says Brawn

'New world' thinking opens door for better F1, says Brawn
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021