David Coulthard saw Lewis Hamilton having to fight fire in his fight with Max Verstappen. The former Formula 1 driver saw that the Dutchman dived into every possible hole in his fight for the world championship. Thanks in part to this aggressive driving style, the Red Bull Racing driver managed to take his first world title. Coulthard noted that Hamilton had to adjust his driving style due to the aggressiveness of his competitor.
Throughout his career, Verstappen has been told several times that he is too aggressive a driver. Coulthard looks at it from a completely different angle. “The way Max is driving is really impressive in my eyes,” the Briton told Channel 4. “If there is an opportunity to overtake, he will go for it immediately. He doesn’t hesitate for a moment.’
On the final lap in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen dove inside Turn 5 inside the seven-time world champion. Many people, including Hamilton himself, did not see this overtaking maneuver coming, because the Red Bull driver seemed quite far away. Yet Hamilton left the door open for Verstappen. “We saw that more than once last season. He had to, because he had to fight fire. Lewis is a great driver, but how do you fight Verstappen?’
‘Verstappen is special’
Coulthard himself has spent fifteen seasons in Formula 1. He sees that Verstappen has something special. “When I was still part of Formula 1, I didn’t think like Max. I never knew whether to take the risk or not. Verstappen is very different in that regard. If he has a goal in mind, he goes straight for it and takes every possible risk. That is very special,” concludes Coulthard.