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Lewis Hamilton has been warned to expect more crashes with Max Verstappen as the F1 title race heats up. The duo are separated by just two points in one of the tightest championships in F1 history.
Hamilton got his F1 season off to a flyer in the spring as he won three of the first four races in the calendar.
But he stuttered under the pressure of Verstappen and failed to win another race until round 10 as the Dutch driver overtook him at the top of the championship standings.
Hamilton’s round 10 victory came in controversial fashion on home soil in July at the Silverstone Grand Prix.
Verstappen, who started from pole position, crashed out of the race on the opening lap after going wheel-to-wheel with the Briton.
The Red Bull driver careered into the barriers at high speed after the collision on turn nine before climbing out of his car and walking away.
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Verstappen was later taken to hospital as Hamilton celebrated victory, despite being handed a 10-second time penalty.
The duo came to blows once again in Italy last month after a huge incident at the Rettifilo chicane on lap 26 of the race.
Hamilton had come out of the pits alongside the Dutchman and neither would yield as they approached the first chicane.
Verstappen bumped over the sausage kerbs, tangled with Hamilton and ended up mounted on top of the Mercedes beached in the gravel.
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Both drivers saw their race come to a premature end after the crash and, on that occasion, it was Verstappen who was deemed at fault as he was handed a three-place grid drop for the subsequent Russian Grand Prix.
Hamilton leads the way in the standings after winning five races, while Verstappen is just behind despite winning seven times this season.
The rivalry has enthralled the F1 world and now Scuderia Alpha Tauri team principal Franz Tost has sent a stark warning to Hamilton to expect more of the same.
Tost admits he was impressed by Verstappen’s win on home soil at the Dutch Grand Prix last month and thinks the 24-year-old is hungry to win at all costs.
“The answer was his home race at Zandvoort,” Tost told Sport 1.
“If you can dominate in front of the frenetic fans in your home country with all the pressure of expectation, you no longer have to fear anything. That impressed me very much.
“Max cannot be thrown off balance. He focuses from race to race – he wants to win every race.
“If a collision is to be avoided, then he will. If not, then not. Then it just crashes. And that’s that.”
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