Gerhard Berger has said that the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen rivalry is exactly “what Formula 1 needs.”
The title race for both championships between Mercedes and Red Bull have been exhilarating. It has been chaotic and heated, and even dangerous at times. The Italian GP saw Hamilton and Verstappen collide and take each other out of the race.
The pair have been criticised by fans and pundits alike. However, Berger does not belong in that camp.
Berger said that the Hamilton-Verstappen rivalry is exactly “what Formula 1 needs”, and said fans should focus on how interesting it is making the sport.
“Everything is said already and for me it was a racing incident,” he said, as quoted by Planet F1 during his interview with Motorsport.
“If you want to say who could have avoided it more, maybe that was Max, and that is why he got the three places grid penalty as well. But much more important is that this is exactly what Formula 1 needs. This is racing.
“Finally, we have two big guys racing each other, and it’s even better that they are from two different teams. Can you imagine what would happen if you had a third driver in a Ferrari fighting up front as well? You would have full grandstands and people watching it again.
“This is what Formula 1 was looking for, for so many years. It is so important for the sport to have these kinds of things,” he opined.
Time for change
Berger is a fan of Lewis Hamilton, but given how dominant he has been for many years, he wants Verstappen to become the world champion this season.
“I think for the entire sport it would be good to have a change,” Berger said.
“I would also love to see Lewis becoming the greatest of all time, so it is really difficult to give you a straight answer on this one. But we have seen Lewis winning four championship in a row, and we all know that Max Verstappen is a superstar by now as well. So it would be great to see the young guy come out on top,” he concluded.