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Lewis Hamilton

Will Hamilton take a more cautious approach than Verstappen at Spa?

With the lead in the World Championship potentially at stake, Damon Hill wonders whether Lewis Hamilton may be more willing to settle for second place at the Belgian Grand Prix than Max Verstappen.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Damon Hill has questioned whether Lewis Hamilton might take a more cautious approach at the Belgian Grand Prix than title rival Max Verstappen.

Before Formula 1 took its summer break, Hamilton claimed the lead of the World Championship ahead of Verstappen with an eight-point advantage. Given that any on-track battles could potentially put this at risk, Hill thinks Hamilton may be more willing to settle for second place if he absolutely has to.

"He's got a little bit of a margin, hasn't he?" Hill told the F1 Nation podcast. "It's ebbed and flowed throughout the year.

"You have to look at your situation as it arises and do that calculation sometimes. I can imagine Lewis thinking, 'It'll be too risky to put myself in a position where, if I am second, that passing Max might now be a little bit too risky'.

"So I can imagine that he might go for a second place if he absolutely had to. But we are right to expect there's going to be an absolutely blinding race between these two, between now and the end of the season."

As for Verstappen, the Dutchman will be hoping for a strong result after two disappointing weekends in Britain and Hungary. Hill believes that Verstappen will be determined to do all he can to prevent Hamilton from building on his lead.

"[Second place for Verstappen would mean] the title is slipping away," the 1996 Formula 1 World Champion said.

"He will not be looking at this weekend and thinking, 'I need to score points'. He will be looking at this weekend saying, 'I need to win again. I need to make sure Lewis doesn't win'.

"That's the only way he's going to become World Champion this year. So it's high pressure."

Alongside the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen, the fight for the Constructors' crown will continue too. Mercedes are currently 12 points clear of Red Bull at the top of the standings.

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    Breaking Are current F1 drivers taking more risks than in previous eras?