Former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve has predicted more errors from Lewis Hamilton during the season, as Max Verstappen applies the pressure.
Hamilton and Verstappen are already engaged in battle for the WDC. With both achieving their best starts to a season, they are pushing each other to the limit with their driving. This pressure results in mistakes, like the one Hamilton committed at Imola.
It was a rare mistake from the seven-time champion, and it resulted in a Verstappen victory. Villeneuve, however, believes Hamilton will make more mistakes over the course of the season.
“Max has learned over the last few years to always push and drive extremely on the limit to be able to get a win or a podium,” he said. “Lewis hasn’t had to do that in every race because his main opponent was his teammate who wasn’t on the same level in battles. So Lewis hasn’t always had to go to the limit in the past, but that’s different this year.”
Villeneuve went on to reference Hamilton’s error, saying, “You can see that from the mistake he made in Imola. He wanted to get through the field too quickly and then got very lucky with the red flag. We’re going to see more mistakes like that.”
Duels galore in store
All the four races that have taken place have had a Hamilton versus Verstappen moment. The Mercedes man won three of those four duels, but Verstappen never left his rear-view mirror. He even won one race, and is firmly in title contention.
As the paddock heads to Monaco, a track that Red Bull historically excels on, Verstappen will look to close the gap in the standings. It’s a two-horse race for the WDC, and it’s as exciting as can be. If race-ending errors are a part of it, it will be even more so.