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Hakkinen: Neither Verstappen or Hamilton will lift off the throttle next time

Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen believes the Verstappen/Hamilton clash was a racing incident, but it's going to add some fire to the championship battle.

Mika Hakkinen believes the crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone was a 'pure racing incident', but believes neither driver will lift off the throttle on the next occasion they go wheel to wheel. Speaking in his column for UniBet, the 1998 and 1999 World Champion said that high profile collisions like what was seen at Silverstone is to be expected in such a high stakes battle. "Sunday's collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the British Grand Prix was a pure racing incident," Hakkinen said. "When you are racing at those speeds and going for the win, these things can sometimes happen. As a top driver, going for the World Championship, you are not there to back off. It’s our job to race, and I know from my own experiences that when you are racing wheel-to-wheel there is always the possibility of the cars touching." Speaking about the two title rivals, Hakkinen said the confidence of both drivers spilled over at Silverstone, with both feeling they would come out on top. "Max is feeling very confident," Hakkinen said. "He has won five Grands Prix this year and is leading the World Championship. He made such a great start, and was not going to give up the position to Lewis very easily, particularly at such a fast corner which then leads into a complex of three corners - Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel - where overtaking is not really possible. "Lewis is equally confident in himself and his car. He has achieved so much success, and has so much experience, which means he is very focused on the win, and to gaining track position over Max. "When I saw them touch I stood up and thought ‘Oh My God’, because that is such a high speed corner. It’s very fast and not one at which you want to go off. "I am very glad that Max was unhurt, and it is another sign of just how strong these cars are and the fantastic work which the FIA does to make sure you can walk away from that kind of impact. At 51G, it is the kind of impact that would not have been easy to survive in the past." The Finnish Champion is rubbing his hands at the thoughts of what could happen over the rest of the season, believing neither driver will be willing to lift off the next time they go to battle. "This accident will really put some fire between these guys and their battle for the World Championship. Neither of them will want to repeat that accident, but they will be even more determined not to lift off the throttle the next time they are in this kind of close battle. We are going to see them fight hard for the rest of the season. It’s going to be really fascinating."

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