The 2021 season is putting more emphasis than ever on the world title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, absolute protagonists of a no holds barred battle on and off the track. Yet, already two years ago, in a 2019 in which Mercedes was the undisputed dominator of that championship, one of the first clashes between the two drivers took place, and more specifically during and at the end of the Mexican Grand Prix. On the occasion of qualifying on the circuit “Hermanos Rodriguez”, where the Red Bull Dutchman took pole position. However, the Race Direction penalized the person concerned with a relegation of three positions on the grid, guilty of not having slowed down under the yellow flag. In the post-qualification statements, Verstappen polemically points out, reiterating that “A silver car did the same thing, but it wasn’t penalized, and that makes me nervous.”
The climate between the two, already tense, worsens twenty-four hours after the episode, when Formula 1 takes to the track in Mexico City to compete in the race: Hamilton wins the victory, although undergoing contact right from the Red Bull driver. Here too, in the usual interviews, it is another comment that fuels the controversy: this time it is the British who let off steam, admitting to “Granting extra space when dueling with Max Verstappen for fear of being ‘torpedoed’”, ie hit or knocked off the track by the Verstappen ‘missile’.
Once aware of these claims from the reigning champion, Verstappen’s reply is as swift as it is firm: “It was a stupid comment – replied the standard bearer of the Austrian team – I’m not going to make my considerations at the press conference in front of everyone, because I consider it disrespectful and I prefer to fight on the track. This only proves that are in their heads, and that’s a good thing for me. I am very competitive – he added – but correct, and what he said about me was not correct. I like to fight hard, but always on the edge. If they want me to be behind them – concluded – then I prefer to stay at home. I want to fight with them, because that’s what we’re here for ”. Previously the two drivers had already come into contact in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton who on the occasion was very hard on the radio in defining Verstappen “Dec ** ead”, that is to say ‘head of ca ** o’.