Brazil was a fantastic race. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are the two best drivers I’ve seen going head-to-head for a title, and that includes Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. This is another level and it’s thrilling.
Whatever we think about the DRS penalty that put Lewis to the back of the sprint race grid – and the bottom line is the rule says if the test fails the car doesn’t pass – it certainly made the weekend. It wasn’t just the speed Lewis had, it was how he used it. There was no rush, no panic, his placement of the car was fantastic, and his qualifying lap on the Friday was among his best, too. Damon Hill said after the race he thought that’s the best drive he’s ever seen, and I have to agree.
From where I’m sitting we are very fortunate to be seeing two of the best fighting for the top spot. One has maturity, the other has an edge to him, as we saw when Max squeezed Lewis off during the grand prix. I’m surprised he got away with it because it was obvious what he did. It was a two-stab move, because he squashed him even more when they were off the track. Yes, squeezing is part of racing, but that move was not. That’s not a skill, clever or smart. In contrast, what Lewis then did into Turn 1 to put Max on the defensive before he took the lead at Turn 4, that’s racing. Also when he came past Max, Lewis chopped in front to take a bit of aero away. That’s it again. But you don’t force the other driver off the track.