Max Verstappen's downfall 'draws energy away from the track' in Lewis Hamilton fight

“It’s been one of the best rivalries, if not the best, since Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna,” he continued.

“You could argue that Lewis’s match-up with Nico was as intense – but it was over quite quickly – Damon Hill’s with Michael Schumacher in ’94 was another and then there was Prost and Senna at the end of the ’80s.

“But this one could go on. They are both special talents and it’s very rare that two come along at the same time.

“Max oozes natural ability and he has an edge – a bit like Schumacher – and people have grown fed up of Mercedes’ domination and want someone to challenge Lewis.

“And boy, has Lewis had a fight.

“Personally, I think this tussle has re-energised not just the sport but also Lewis. He needs a motivation to extend himself. He needs to get enjoyment out of it and he clearly gets something out of trying to push back against the next generation.”

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