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Was it a great defensive move or a late move under breaking to block the charging Hamilton?
The move had been looked at by the stewards but as has been the case with other Max incidents, no further action has been taken. Meanwhile, fans can rant or gush enthusiastically (depending on which side of the argument your opinion lies.)
The move had hints of deja vu, only this time it was Verstappen ahead of Hamilton rather than Raikonnen. (For those of you who may have missed it, part one of this debate can be found at here)
Hamilton, being in P2 on the starting grid (on the wet side) was in front of Verstappen in P3 (on the dry side) but not for long, as Hamilton got bogged down (nothing to do with the track being wet or dry, apparently but it was noted that those in P1,3 and 5 got off to a better start than those in 2,4 and 6). Verstappen moved up one place, Hamilton down six.
Fast forward to L34 when Hamilton pitted for a fresh set of hard tyres from P2 and emerged in P4, and had a bit of a scrap with Vettel for the final podium position. This continued to L40, with Hamilton getting DRS on the backmarkers along the straights all the while decreasing the gap between himself and Verstappen in P2. By L43 Verstappen was showing some irritation with the blue flag situation (joining Vettel and Raikonnen in the race to see who could complain loudest and longest about this) as Hamilton had reduced the gap between himself and Verstappen from 19 to 1.9 seconds.
It wasn’t long before Hamilton was within DRS range and the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen started in earnest on L47. This raged for three Laps with Verstappen defending getting great traction out of the corners and keeping just far enough ahead of Hamilton that Hamilton could not use his horse power advantage down the straights. Meanwhile, over the airwaves, Martin Brundle was suggesting Hamilton should set up the move for the overtake at the hairpin, through spoon, 130R and then go for it at the chicane, which is what Hamilton did on L52. HOWEVER (and this is the point we invite YOUR opinion) Max waited until Hamilton had committed to his move before defending/blocking, resulting in Hamilton having to use the run off area to avoid a collision.
So, what was it…..defending or blocking? Was Max being brilliant or dangerously reckless? either way, he was voted Driver of the Day in the F1 poll…………….your comments, below, please.
Additional from the Editor:
Credit to /u/jaapgrolleman on Reddit for this comedy gold