The crash between the two title contenders at the recent British Grand Prix has become a major talking point in F1, after Red Bull and Verstappen blamed their Mercedes rivals for what happened.
And ahead of what will likely be an intense Hungarian GP this weekend, where the two drivers will meet for the first time since their crash, Wolff assumes that it is possible to repeat at some point.
He has no doubt that what happened at Silverstone has raised the rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen to a new level, and that makes it difficult to predict how things will go from here.
Talking with Motorsport.com On how he thinks the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen will play out, Wolff said: “I think the intensity has increased since Silverstone.”
“It will not be the last time they fight for a position and hopefully they can do it in a sporting way. And, if not, we will see more collisions.”
Hamilton Y Verstappen They have been involved in a number of battles throughout the 2021 F1 season, but the British GP was the first time there was a touch like such.
Wolff believes that in the past Hamilton has chosen to avoid trouble because he preferred to win the war in the long run rather than fight too much for one battle, but this time neither of them wanted to give ground.
“I think part of his success [de Hamilton] It’s not just his racing ability, it’s his maturity as well, “said Wolff.” Long-term strategy is important to win championships because you need to score points. “
“He has reached a situation where giving up a position on the track has been part of the pattern for the last few races. This time neither of them gave in and it ended in a severe collision. “
But Wolff insists that Hamilton did not deliberately cause the accident to show his pride.
“I think it goes way beyond proving anything,” Wolff said. “He has won 99 races and is a seven-time world champion. There is nothing that Lewis Hamilton has to prove to anyone.”
Wolff is aware that he has to deal with the aftermath of every accident, and former driver Nico Rosberg had some controversies with Hamilton in the past.
However, this incident is a different context, since it is a fight with a driver from another team.
When asked if that was easier or more difficult to manage, Wolff said: “Outside duels are easy to handle. It is far from the controversy we had within the team.”
“Those within the team are very difficult to manage because you need both drivers to have their heads in place to win the constructors’ championship and to drive while respecting the values of the team and the powerful Mercedes brand.”
“The external struggle is how F1 has always been and it is not something that is difficult to manage.”
But it is also true that the fact that it is with another team makes it more uncertain to know how the situation will develop.
“You have tools to reduce the situation within the team if there is such an ugly rivalry,” Wolff added.
“Competing with another team, things will happen that must happen. And we have no particular judgment about what will happen at this time.”