We’ve already seen a couple of high-profile crashes involving Hamilton and Verstappen – and Mercedes boss Wolff reckons it might happen again
Toto Wolff believes Formula One could witness another Senna/Prost moment, as the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Vertappen reaches the wire.
The pair are separated by 12 points with five races left. Red Bull’s seven-time champion and Red Bull ace seek his first title in this sport.
It has been a number of times that the lead has changed hands. Neither driver allowed the other racer to get too much steam.
Fans are not yet certain who will win in this titanic title tussle, but it has provided some entertaining entertainment.
Their rivalry brings back memories of the one that took place between Alain Prost & Ayrton Sna.
They crashed at Japan’s Grand Prix in 1989, and the Frenchman won the title, while the Brazilian was declared the world champion. Amazingly, they also took each other out the Suzuka race the following year.
Mercedes boss Wolff would be forgiven for playing down the rivalry for the sake of safety – especially considering Hamilton and Verstappen have already been involved in a couple of high-profile crashes.
However, the Austrian claims he can understand if the leader of the championship decides it is best to remove their rival from the equation.
“‘If it was to come to the scenario of the last race in Abu Dhabi and they were to be racing each other for the title, whoever is in front is absolutely going to try to do the same as in the Senna-Prost years,”Wolff stated that he believed in the Daily Mail.
“What happened in Monza? Verstappen took Lewis out because he was about to overtake and he was quicker. And that is totally understandable. If you are racing for the championship and you see it fading away because the other guy is overtaking you, what tool have you got other than the one that makes sure he can’t overtake?
“It was seen with Villeneuve, Schumacher, as well as Prost and Senna.
“I wouldn’t give anyone the instruction to crash into anybody else, but if they race to the last race, and the champion is the winner, they will be racing hard.
“And I don’t think you can control it, Hamilton and Verstappen, I don’t think you want to control it because they are the gladiators in their machines.
“Because we don’t like confrontation, this makes the sport so intriguing. Then again, it is in our nature to be curious about how things unfold.
“If they crash are they going to confront each other? What are they going to say? Will they look in each others’ eyes? We would not interfere. The relationship is sorted out between the individuals.”
Both Hamilton and Verstappen were not hurt in the collision at Monza. Red Bull had the car on top and they both had to withdraw from the race.
That came after contact at Silverstone which sent Verstappen careering off the track and into a tyre wall with a 50G force, which saw the Dutchman sent to hospital for precautionary checks and the Mercedes ace given a minor time penalty – though he won the race anyway.
Wolff’s hypothesis holds that these incidents won’t be the first involving the two top-level racers in the next season.