Neither Lewis Hamilton nor Max Verstappen is to blame for pair's 2022 F1 Brazilian GP collision, claims veteran reporter

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil
Max Verstappen driving the (#1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 and Lewis Hamilton driving the (#44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 battle for track position during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 13, 2022, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Veteran F1 reporter Mark Hughes claims neither Max Verstappen nor Lewis Hamilton is to blame for their infamous clash at the 2022 Brazilian GP last month. The 2021 title rivals collided at Sao Paulo, going into the Senna Esses.

Verstappen received car damage and a five-second time penalty for allegedly being at fault against Lewis Hamilton, his 2021 rival. Mark Hughes, however, believes neither driver was at fault on that particular occasion as both drive differently when racing against each other.

Hughes noted that the Dutchman leaves a lot more room when battling against Charles Leclerc as compared to Hamilton, perhaps given their previous animosity. The Briton also claims Hamilton is sometimes inconsistent when racing against the two-time world champion, leading to frequent collisions between the two.

Mark Hughes spoke about Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's rivalry on Motor Sport Magazine's season review podcast, saying:

“You saw it as early as Bahrain, the first race, where [Verstappen and Leclerc] were passing and repassing and Max was giving him room. That’s just not how he races Lewis. It’s a difficult one because Lewis sometimes gives him room and sometimes thinks, ‘no’."

Hughes added:

“Brazil was one of those occasions [with Lewis saying] ‘I know what you’re trying to do and you’re not going to do it’, and Max was saying, ‘I know what you’re going to do and I’m coming through anyway’. They’re both entitled to do that, they’re both racing drivers and I don’t think there’s any blame there."

Max Verstappen is not a fan of street circuits

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen claims street circuits in F1 are esthetically pleasing, but lacking in the racing department. The Dutchman claims that the bigger and heavier new-generation cars are not suited for street circuit racing.

Verstappen has won on street circuits like Monaco, Miami, Jeddah, and Baku, but is still disappointed with how newer cars behave on such tracks. The Red Bull driver would also like to see fewer street circuits on the calendar and would much rather have old-school circuits that allow for better racing.

The world champion's main criticism of street circuits is that current-gen cars can no longer take the curbs through narrow streets. Max Verstappen gave his opinion on street circuits in an exclusive interview for FORMULA 1 Magazine, saying:

"Formula 1 cars are really not made for that. I don't like street circuits at all anymore. With the old cars it was still doable, but now...In Monaco and Singapore, I was very disappointed how the new cars went through the streets. Too heavy, too stiff, you can't take curbs with you anymore. The cars just aren't built for it. Street circuits are fun for the pictures, but not for racing."

Verstappen's next challenge is once again likely to be Lewis Hamilton in 2023 given Mercedes' resurgence in form. It will be interesting to see whether the Dutchman will go head-to-head with Hamilton once again in 2023, giving fans yet another season for the ages.

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Edited by Anurag C
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