Hamilton will no longer ‘bail out’ when corner is his – Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton is no longer willing to cede ground when racing wheel-to-wheel with title rival Max Verstappen.
As the battle for supremacy in F1 rages, the intensity of the rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen has ramped up, a flare up that resulted in another run-in between the two contenders at Monza.
While both drivers retired on the spot, Verstappen was seen by the stewards as predominately to blame for the clash, having tried to force his opponent to back off as the Red Bull and Mercedes entered Monza’s first chicane.
Wolff noted that Hamilton had justifiably gone out of his way to avoid a contact with Verstappen on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix at the Roggia chicane.
“These two are racing for a drivers’ championship and you can’t expect them to have velvet gloves on,” said Wolff on Friday.
“That’s why we are going to see harsh moments like this I believe.
“Obviously I’m biased and am looking at the whole race as it’s panned out and sometimes you just need to bail out.
“This is what Lewis did on Lap 1. Could Max have done it? Probably he would have lost a position.”
Read also: Hamilton urges Mercedes to ‘capitalize’ on Verstappen penalty
Regarding the second flash point later in the race that ended in the gravel trap for both drivers, Wolff believes the incident was a warning of sorts from Hamilton to Verstappen that signified that he is no longer willing to compromise when dueling wheel-to-wheel with the Dutchman.
“I think the change of approach is that Lewis pretty much decided not to bail out anymore when he thinks that the corner is his,” added the Austrian.
“Now it needs two to tango. It needs two to understand each other on track and when a collision can be avoided.
“But they are in the cars, we have no influence on the driving and they will know much better than us how the other one is racing yourself and it’s interesting to watch.”
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