Imola performance: A masterclass drive

Author: Adriano Boin

Martin Brundle believes the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will only intensify as the season goes along, with the Brit singling out the Dutchman’s performance in Imola for high praise.

Martin Brundle had nothing but praise for Max Verstappen and his effort at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, calling the Dutchman’s drive a “masterclass”. While Lewis Hamilton got the better of the Red Bull driver in Bahrain, it was Max who came out on top in Italy despite the challenging weather conditions. Brundle lauded Verstappen’s ability in challenging conditions as the battle between the two rivals ramps up.

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“This Hamilton/Verstappen battle is going to be season long and, as we know from history, when two top drivers fight like this they somehow transcend to an even higher plane,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column. “The focus from driver and team alike becomes so intense and concentrated.

“There will be 20+ points available for fastest lap this year, and Lewis leads the championship by that single point from Imola, which was a net two points in reality as he stole it from Max V. That summarises how close this battle could be in the next few months.

“If it was one-nil to Hamilton from the opener in Bahrain, it was one-all after Verstappen muscled his way into the lead in turn two at the start of the race.

“In the end he would win serenely by 22 seconds having survived a half spin while preparing for a restart using that deft touch on the brakes and just the right amount of steering angle which saves him from time to time. A masterclass drive on the most challenging of days.”