Formula 1 fans were given a flashback to 2021 in Sao Paulo, as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen went wheel to wheel around Interlagos, ending in a controversial incident just like last year.
In 2021 the pair were in the heat of a title battle and the Dutchman was accused of forcing Hamilton off the track as the Brit attempted an overtake around the outside of him, and this year the pair came together in similar circumstances.
Following a safety car restart the two world class drivers went wheel to wheel into the Senna S section of the circuit, making contact at Turn 2 as Hamilton attempted to go around the outside of Verstappen.
The Dutchman was handed a five-second penalty for the incident as Hamilton was ahead of him as they entered the second half of the Senna S, while the Brit picked up damage to his floor which did not end up making too much of a difference to his performance as he came home in second place.
This is certainly not the first time that the pair have come together, after at 2021 season full of flash points and controversial moments, and Hamilton was asked by Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz if he believes that he is on the receiving end of aggressive treatment from Verstappen due to his winning pedigree.
“I think yeah, you’re probably right,” replied the seven-time world champion.
“I remember when I first got to the sport and your target is the guy that has the most championships. It was Fernando [Alonso], then it was Kimi [Raikkonen], because Kimi was one of the best drivers here, and then it was Seb [Vettel], so I think it’s natural,” he explained.
The Brit continued on to fire a sly dig at Verstappen, saying that he hopes that the two-time world champion will grow up and mature which will lead to cleaner racing, but has his doubts about the chances of this occurring.
“I think I’ll adapt. You’ve seen in previous years that I try to avoid [contact] in scenarios,” he said.
“I’m sure we’ll grow, both sides will grow and improve hopefully so we don’t have experiences like we did in the last race, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.”
Hamilton will be heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix knowing that it represents his final chance to win a race in 2022, while Verstappen will be looking to prove the doubters wrong and help his teammate Sergio Perez to runner up in the championship, following their flare-up in Brazil.