The clash at the Hungaroring will see Hamilton and Verstappen enter the race just eight points behind in the championship after the Red Bull driver retired in a first-lap crash to which the Mercedes driver was fined 10 seconds Sunday. Despite the penalty, Hamilton still managed to secure the victory.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said “it takes two to tango”, while Red Bull boss Christian Horner called Hamilton’s victory a “hollow victory”, and Verstappen called the Briton’s “unsportsmanlike” celebrations. As for Hamilton, he claimed he “wouldn’t be intimidated for being less aggressive” – but with the spirits unraveling, will he and Verstappen clear the air before Hungary?
“I don’t know,” Hamilton replied. “I’m open to it, I have no problem, I mean, I don’t really know what we’re going to say. Keep playing, we’ll keep attacking, it takes respect on the right track, but otherwise it will happen more often I guess. And I did my best to stay as clean as possible, ”he said.
In 2020, Hamilton won his eighth Grand Prix at the Hungaroring to tie Michael Schumacher’s record of eight wins at a single venue and became the first driver to lead 150 Grands Prix.
READ MORE: Ross Brawn on why he hopes we don’t see a repeat of Hamilton v Verstappen clash
With just four points behind Red Bull heading into the 11th round, Mercedes are striving to regain the championship lead in Hungary, as track engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained after the race at Silverstone.
“We came here to win and to close the gap in the championships, so we should be very happy with our job this weekend,” he said on Sunday.
“We’re almost halfway there and there’s hardly anything in it, we know Red Bull is going to bounce back hard, so from tomorrow morning we will put all our efforts into the next race in Budapest. “