Former F1 driver Timo Glock says Max Verstappen has shown great maturity this season compared to the past and admits he believes the Dutchman would’ve probably “punched” Lewis Hamilton after a crash like the Italian Grand Pix.
The pair have both been involved in potentially harmful accidents this season, with Verstappen hospitalised after their crash at the British Grand Prix, and Hamilton left praising the halo for saving his life in Italy.
Hamilton was handed a ten-second time penalty for the crash at Silverstone, with Verstappen receiving a three-place grid drop for causing a collision at Monza with a penalty apiece.
But Glock praised Verstappen’s more “relaxed” approach this season in his fierce battle with the Mercedes driver, adding in the past he may have acted differently.
The BMW Motorsport DTM driver was also full of praise for the seven-time world champion’s demeanor too.
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“Lewis never shows on the outside that he has pressure. He knows very well how to come across as calm,” Glock said to Sport1.
“Of course, he also knows that when he puts on his helmet, it all depends. But he has found a way to appear relaxed and cool.
“Max Verstappen has also managed that well so far. For me, he has made a huge leap, he has become much more relaxed, much more controlled in many ways.
“Two years ago, in a situation like the crash in Monza, he probably would have opened Lewis’ helmet and punched him. Now he leaves him on the left and thinks to himself: ‘See how you get out of this.’”
With the championship poised on a knife-edge, Verstappen currently leads the way by six points heading to Austin with only a handful of races remaining.
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And with the lead of the championship ebbing and flowing between the pair, both Mercedes and Red Bull know a non-finish could be the deciding factor for either team and driver. In the constructors’ battle, Mercedes currently have a 36-point lead over Red Bull.
Team principal Christian Horner believes Red Bull have the upper hand heading into the final races, adding he thinks Mercedes could suffer from additional reliability concerns by the end of the season.
“You can do all the sims and modelling you like and then something variable happens,” said Horner. “There is no such thing as total stability like you have in a simulated world to the end of the year.
“There could be other twists and turns in this, let’s wait and see.”
Questions were raised when Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas took back-to-back grid penalties in Italy and in Russia, as Mercedes took a shock decision to take a fifth power unit ahead of the race in Sochi.
Hamilton meanwhile took a fourth engine in Turkey last time out, triggering a ten-second time penalty.
The battle continues on Sunday with round 18 at the United States Grand Prix.