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
Listen to this article

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 historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022