Koele Verstappen denkt niet aan mogelijke crash met Hamilton

Koele Verstappen denkt niet aan mogelijke crash met Hamilton
© ANP Koele Verstappen denkt niet aan mogelijke crash met Hamilton

DJEDDA (ANP) – Formule 1-coureur Max Verstappen wil zich in de voorbereiding op de Grand Prix van Saudi-Arabië, zondag op het gloednieuwe stratencircuit in Djedda, zo weinig mogelijk laten afleiden. Op vragen over een aanstaande wereldtitel of over een eventuele aanrijding met zijn Britse rivaal Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) gaat de kopman van Red Bull niet uitgebreid in. “Ik ben altijd vrij neutraal geweest”, verzekert hij. “Ik bereid me voor op komend weekeinde zoals ik het hele seizoen heb gedaan.”

Verstappen geeft nog wel aan dat hij en zijn team zeer gelukkig zijn met de huidige uitgangspositie. “We zijn ook zeer gemotiveerd”, betoogt de WK-leider. Praten over een mogelijke botsing met Hamilton vindt hij naar eigen zeggen niet interessant. “Daar denk ik niet over na.”

Verstappen en Hamilton zijn verwikkeld in een verbeten gevecht om de wereldtitel. De langdurige strijd leidde al twee keer tot een crash tussen de rivalen. In Silverstone ramde Hamilton Verstappen hard in de vangrails en in Monza reed de Limburger de Engelsman van de baan, waarbij de bolide van Verstappen zelfs bovenop de auto van Hamilton belandde.

In het wereldkampioenschap heeft Verstappen 8 punten voorsprong op Hamilton, met nog twee races te gaan. Als Verstappen zondag in Saudi-Arabië de race wint én de snelste ronde rijdt, goed voor 26 punten, is hij wereldkampioen als Hamilton niet verder komt dan de zesde plaats (8 punten). Wanneer de Brit buiten de punten eindigt, heeft Verstappen aan de tweede plek genoeg om de titel te pakken. De kans is echter groot dat de wereldtitelstrijd pas wordt beslist in de laatste race van het seizoen in Abu Dhabi, op 12 december.

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