The battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton does not only take place on the track, but also outside of it. A lot of rules have been changed already, we saw the incident at Silverstone and the consequences this had and there was an attempt of Red Bull to increase the punishment of Hamilton afterwards.
In short: it is war between the two teams. Nico Rosberg also sees this, stating to Sky Sports that he sees Mercedes handling it better than Red Bull.
Does Red Bull have to take into account engine-related grid penalties for Verstappen?
“Management is crucial and Toto has managed it very well. He makes Red Bull look more and more like the bad guys with [their] attempts to protest and all that stuff. He’s also super smart with playing the media game and also internally, really getting everyone up to try and beat them together.”
Red Bull not playing it smart
At least that’s how Rosberg sees it. He then focuses on Horner in particular. “I would say, maybe not so smart and well played (by Horner and Red Bull) the last few days. Then you don’t qualify that well, Max’s car had more pace than that, so it all comes together and I would definitely say in favour of Hamilton and Mercedes at the moment.”
Verstappen still young
Because according to the German, this is still sometimes forgotten when talking about the Dutchman.”I also wouldn’t underestimate how difficult it is for Max to be favourite for the world championship for the first time in his life. The pressure just goes up exponentially and it’s a difficult thing to manage.”
“We also have to remember that he is still very young, even though he has been in F1 for seven years,” Rosberg continued. “So we could well see moments where it just gets a bit too much for him.” The battle on and off the track will continue in three weeks’ time, when racing begins in Belgium.
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