SportF1What if Verstappen caused an accident with Hamilton?

What if Verstappen caused an accident with Hamilton?

An uncomfortable question is hovering over Formula 1 during the tense week leading up to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix . This is where Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will play the final battle for the title next Sunday. They arrive tied on points, but the Dutchman has added one more victory than his rival this season (9-8) and his would be the glory if neither manages to score. It is a very unlikely scenario that this year has only happened in the Azebaijan Grand Prix . But… what if Verstappen caused an accident with Hamilton ?

The Dutchman is on the brink of his first world title and the Englishman is close to eighth, a border that no one crossed before, not even seven-time champion Michael Schumacher . That is why it is not surprising the tension that has reached the hand-to-hand between the two applicants and that lived its peak in the Saudi Arabian GP, where the World Championship leader did everything possible, legal or illegal, to avoid the victory of his rival . He did not succeed and saw his advantage at the top of the table disappear. They will arrive evenly at Yas Marina . Verstappen won there last year and Hamilton a total of five times over the course of his career. F1 expects a clean outcome, but history warns: there are precedents to the contrary.

Ayrton Senna VS Alain Prost

The Brazilian and the French starred in one of the great rivalries in the history of Formula 1 . Winners of seven world titles between them, two of those championships were decided with much controversy and accidents involved.

In 1989, Ayrton Senna had just won his first World Cup , but it was very difficult to revalidate it and it was only worth winning the last two races in Japan and Brazil . His greatest rival was at the same time his teammate in those days of McLaren-Honda supremacy. On lap 46, Prost was leading and Senna tried to overtake him. Both ended up off the track, but the Brazilian returned to the asphalt pushed by the stewards and achieved victory. His joy was short-lived because race management decided his disqualification and left the title in the hands of Prost . Senna ended up receiving a six-month ban without competing.

The coexistence had become so unbreathable that in 1990 Prost changed teams to wear Ferrari red. Fate would have them both return to star in a very tight fight for the title and also for Suzuka to repeat as the setting for another thriller , just as exciting but much more ephemeral. The race lasted just a few seconds in Japan . They collided in the first corner at 260 kilometers per hour and both were out. Senna got out of the car smiling, barely containing the pleasure that a premeditated revenge gave him, as he himself confessed later. Prost called him a “worthless man” and left empty.

Michael Schumacher VS Hill y Villeneuve

Michael Schumacher won five World Championships in a row with Ferrari , a time of undeniable hegemony of the ‘Scuderia’ in which he was confirmed as the greatest in history up to that moment, but before he had to overcome many troubles on his way to the top. His scuffles with Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve stand out , incidents that gave him a reputation as a villain.

In 1994, the year of Senna’s death, newcomer Schumacher , the rising star of the Benetton team, entered the final event in Australia with a point ahead of Damon Hill , leader of Williams . On lap 35, the Kaiser lost control of his car and hit the wall. When he returned to the track, the Briton took advantage of the advantage to pass him, but Schumacher reacted by blocking the way in an unsportsmanlike way and they collided. The incident doubled the Williams’ front suspension and they both dropped out.

The German was champion after that, but fate had a trick on him that came three years later. At the Jerez Circuit , where the 1997 European Grand Prix was held, Schumacher was back with the lead and this time his rival was another Williams rider, Jacques Villeneuve . The script was repeated, but with a different outcome. Villeneuve tried to overtake Schumacher and Schumacher fumbled with a dirty maneuver that caused the crash. The Canadian was able to continue to his only career title as the German raged on the gravel, unsuccessfully asking the stewards to get him back on the tarmac.

Bonus track: Lewis Hamilton VS Nico Rosberg

The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix did not decide the world title, but it does have several ingredients that make it a curious precedent. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were teammates at Mercedes and also bitter rivals. On the first lap, the Briton stepped on the grass, lost control of his car and crashed into Rosberg. Both were out of the race and cleared the way for a rookie to achieve his first career win. That unexpected winner was Max Verstappen . Five years later, the Dutchman has a much greater achievement in sight and he knows that the paths to glory are very varied …

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