Binotto Rooting For Verstappen In Championship Fight With Hamilton

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has revealed that he is rooting for Max Verstappen in this year’s Championship battle, as he believes Formula 1 would benefit from a non-Mercedes driver winning a title in the sport’s V6 turbo-hybrid era.

Mercedes have won every Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship since 2014, but Red Bull and the Silver Arrows look fairly evenly matched this year.

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Going into the British Grand Prix, Verstappen had built up a strong points advantage over then-second-placed Hamilton.

However, the Dutch driver suffered a DNF at Silverstone after colliding with Hamilton on the first lap, and a Bottas-induced multi-car collision at the following race in Hungary damaged his car and compromised his race.

Meanwhile, Hamilton won the British GP despite receiving a 10-second time penalty for the aforementioned first-lap incident with Verstappen, and he managed a strong P2 finish in Hungary.

As a result, the seven-time World Champion now sits at the summit of the standings, with an eight-point lead over Verstappen.

Asked for his opinion on the Championship battle, Binotto said he is supporting Verstappen but believes that Mercedes and Hamilton will ultimately prevail.

“It’s an exciting challenge between two great drivers and I hope they fight to the end,” Binotto said in an interview with Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

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“If I had to bet, I would bet on Lewis because I think Mercedes will win in the end.

“But I’m rooting for Max. It would do the sport good to break the status quo.”

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As for Ferrari’s own 2021 campaign, he said the highest they can aim for is P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, as Red Bull and Mercedes are clearly ahead of the rest of the field.

“We are the third force, on par with McLaren. Beyond that, it is not permissible to hope,” he said.

Ferrari and McLaren have been battling for third in the standings all season long, and they are currently level on 163 points each.

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