‘The gloves are off!’: Jenson Button predicts Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen F1 title battle to become ‘feisty’ with ‘fisticuffs’ for rest of the season after their controversial collision at the British Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed at 180mph on first lap after duel
- Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty but still went on to win the race
- Verstappen and Red Bull were left furious at race result following the incident
- Verstappen still leads the F1 championship battle by eight points from the Brit
- Jenson Button though believes the duo must put the incident behind them
Jenson Button believes the Formula One championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen has reached new ‘feisty’ levels following their controversial crash last time out at the British Grand Prix.
The pair collided on the opening lap at Silverstone at 180mph heading into Copse corner, with Hamilton barging the series leader off the road following a close fought duel which saw him punished with a 10-second time penalty for causing an avoidable accident.
However, despite the penalty, the Brit would still go on to win the home race following the crash which had seen Verstappen taken to hospital for six hours before given the all-clear after their coming together resulted in him spinning into a barrier with an impact over 50 times the force of gravity.
Jenson Button now predicts a more intense rivalry between Max Verstappen (left) and Lewis Hamilton (right), pictured earlier in the season at the French Grand Prix
Last time out at the British Grand Prix Hamilton (left) was given a 10-second time penalty for causing a controversial accident that saw Verstappen spin off the track and out the race
Button, who was team-mates with Hamilton at McLaren between 2010 and 2012, believes the incident will ramp up tension between the pair but that it is crucial they put the incident behind them.
‘It’s going to be a feisty one from here on, which is good for us watching but whether it’s good for them – I don’t know!’ the 2009 world champion told Sky Sports.
‘Emotions are running so high, these are two of the best drivers that have ever driven F1 cars and it is going to be fisticuffs over the next few races.
‘We’ve just got to hope it’s done in the right manner. I think after this race hopefully they’ll discuss it, that’s what’s important to me it’s that these drivers understand what happened and they talk about it and they move on, and then they can fight as they should with the gloves off.’
Red Bull driver Verstappen hit the tyre barrier at 51G and spent six hours in a hospital
Hamilton controversially went on to win and cut the championship gap to eight points
Barring not picking up the fastest lap point, Hamilton inflicted maximum damage to Verstappen’s championship lead at Silverstone with victory following his rival’s DNF and as a result the seven-time and current world champion is now right back in the title hunt just eight points behind the Red Bull star.
Meanwhile, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed Hamilton’s crash with Max Verstappen has left his team with a £1.3million repair bill.
In a column published on Friday evening, Horner also said Red Bull were still weighing up whether to lodge an official review of Hamilton’s ‘lenient’ sanction and claimed Hamilton ‘did not show the necessary restraint’ in his victory celebrations following Sunday’s explosive British Grand Prix.
This weekend the drivers, including Verstappen, will be back on track in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix – the last on the calendar before this year’s championship goes on a summer break.
Button (right with Hamilton in 2019) now believes it will be ‘fisticuffs’ between the championship rivals for the rest of the season
Despite the crash, Verstappen still leads the world championship by eight points