In the next few hours, Spa Francorchamps will be witnessing what could again be a brilliant episode of the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Round twelve of the 2021 F1 championship shall hopefully again see two of the best drivers on the current grid entangle with one another in a slugfest of speed, albeit amid what could also be an incident.
As far as pure and unadulterated racing is concerned, it’s all fine; trouble ensues where accidents happen and collisions take place, the likes of which one saw take place at Silverstone over a month back in time.
The sight of Max Verstappen, then leading the world championship, crashing out due to a high-octane accident, was every bit as scary as it was dramatic. That being said, Lewis Hamilton, since then has dominated nearly every Grand Prix, making it to the podium at Hungary, despite his incident marred Hungarian GP. This would turn out to be a race that Ocon would win and where Verstappen would suffer yet another crash, though for no fault of his own.
And now, the former Formula 1 world champion, Damon Hill, who took the crown in 1996 has reiterated focus on what could be another dramatic race at Spa Francorchamps.
As a matter of fact, the famous English driver, a noted champion with Williams, has shared that what he worries the most about Spa Francorchamps is that it could be a venue that could again see Hamilton and Verstappen coming together.
There’s also a reason for the famous Englishman believing the worst about the forthcoming Grand Prix and it’s got everything to do with Spa Francorchamps being a high-speed venue, inarguably one of the fastest on the F1 calendar:
“It’s another fast circuit like Silverstone,” said Hill, speaking on the F1 Nation podcast. They’ve already shown they’re not afraid to tangle at high speed, but Spa’s a whole other level of risk. It is a concern. I think if I was [FIA race director] Michael Masi, and I’d be in the drivers’ briefing for the weekend, I would be saying, ‘Listen guys, respect this place. It’s one of the fastest tracks we go to. We do not want to have any nasty episodes. Of course, we have had some nasty episodes not so long ago, in the F2 races. There is extra risk, especially if it’s wet. They’ve had plenty of issues recently with the rain, but wet races at Spa are not for the faint-hearted,” noted Damon Hill.
That being said, here’s what Hill, son of another mega F1 driver Graham Hill had to say in the wake of how Verstappen’s championship lead, which would later turn into an 8-point deficit had to say:
“It’s not is it because it means the title is slipping away. He will not be looking at this weekend and thinking ‘I need to score points’. He will be looking at this weekend thinking ‘I need to win again. I need to make sure Lewis doesn’t win. That’s the only way he’s going to become world champion this year, so it’s high pressure.”