Jean Alesi, a former Formula One driver, is fascinated by the 2021 title fight, but believes Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen “went too far” with their Monza incident.
At the Italian GP, both title contenders had poor pit stops, so Hamilton emerged from the pit lane alongside Verstappen as the pair bolted for the first chicane.
Both drivers were not prepared to lose, resulting in an unavoidable collision as Verstappen’s Red Bull slammed into Hamilton’s Mercedes cockpit, leaving both cars stuck in the gravel.
Following their shunt at Silverstone, it was the pair’s second significant accident, and Alesi acknowledges that Monza was the only incident that took away from his enjoyment of the title fight.
“We needed such a good challenge: otherwise we would have ended the era of these cars only with a domination of Mercedes and Lewis,” Alesi said.
“This year, however, it’s great to have every race and every qualifying so uncertain. The only thing I didn’t like was Monza, because it’s fine to fight, but they went too far there, both of them, and I don’t want to blame one or the other.
“I hope they continue to fight hard, but in a fair way, and that it lasts until the end, until the last race.”
However, Alesi has noted a change in Verstappen’s attitude, a less risky approach that comes with experience, according to Alesi.
“Even in the last GP in Turkey you could see that Verstappen has changed his attitude, he didn’t take risks, but I’m not surprised, he’s starting to use his experience and he knows he mustn’t fall into the traps of Mercedes’ strategy,” Alesi explained.
Six rounds remain in the 2021 season, and Verstappen maintains a slim lead over Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship, which he leads by only six points.
Alesi is unable to predict the eventual winner, but expects that it will be determined on the track at the final race in Abu Dhabi, rather than due to reliability difficulties.
“For me they both deserve this title, so my prediction is balanced, fifty-fifty,” he said.
“The only thing I hope is that reliability does not decide the championship, and there is a danger of that. Both have already put in the fourth engine, which will have to do six GPs, plus a sprint race in Brazil.
“And they’ll all be races to the death: Hamilton was used to being able to draw breath, now he knows that neither he nor Max will be able to do so.
“And so grip could become an unknown: it would be a shame if one were to win because of the other’s retirement. I’d like to see a sprint all the way to Abu Dhabi.”
The uniforms of Formula One racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: