The duo are currently engaged in a fierce battle for the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, which took a controversial turn after their fall in the first round of the British Grand Prix.
But it’s a scrap that we hope we can wait a few more years after Hamilton agreed to a two-year contract extension with Mercedes.
The Hamilton / Mercedes relationship has been the most successful in Formula 1 history, with six drivers ‘championships, while Mercedes have won the constructors’ crown in the past seven seasons.
However, Schumacher believes that extending that relationship must mean that Verstappen has rejected an offer from Mercedes.
“For me that means above all that Max turned down Mercedes,” Schumacher told SportBild of Hamilton’s new contract.
“I think there was hope at Mercedes that with Max in the cockpit they could completely realign themselves for the future. It’s now dead, and Lewis was the only alternative in my opinion.
Ahead of pre-season testing, Mercedes was expected to continue to dominate, especially as large parts of the 2020 chassis have been postponed as part of a cost-cutting measure.
This did not turn out to be the case however, with updated aero regulations believed to have played a major role in Mercedes returning to Red Bull to the point where Red Bull is now credited with having the car. fastest overall.
In Schumacher’s mind, Red Bull has been “underestimated by many” and how “curious he is to see if Mercedes can turn things around”.
“Red Bull still has a lot in its quiver and hasn’t shown everything from afar,” he added.
“Mercedes always has the best engine, but something is wrong with this car. It can also be seen in the fact that they are running with a lot of wings so that they have more downforce and that they are so slow in a straight line.
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Mercedes have reduced Red Bull’s deficit in the constructors’ championship to just four points at Silverstone, while Hamilton have just eight points to make up on Verstappen.
It certainly looked like the end of that respectful title battle that had formed between the pilots, with Hamilton’s victory celebrations appearing ‘disrespectful’ to Verstappen who was rushed to hospital for check-ups after a 51G impact. with barriers.
On this occasion, fortunately, no one was injured, but Schumacher sees this rivalry only intensifying, at the level of Ayrton Senna against Alain Prost, and he hopes at this point that there will still be no serious injuries.
“The duel will continue to intensify. I hope no one is hurt. Hamilton and Verstappen slowly remind me of Senna and Prost, the way they treat each other, ”said Schumacher.