Jos Verstappen, father of Max Verstappen, has tipped the Red Bull man to do everything he can to clinch his first F1 world title next time out in Abu Dhabi. After questionable tactics in Saudi Arabia, fears have been raised regarding the possibility of Verstappen ramming Lewis Hamilton off the road, a move which would theoretically see the Dutchman win the championship.
After a season packed full of controversy when it comes to the top two, tensions appeared to reach a crescendo in Jeddah on Sunday.
A number of audacious moves by Verstappen saw the title challengers collide twice, although both competitors managed to finish the race.
In the closing stages, Verstappen was forced to cede first place to Hamilton, which was not without complications, and the Brit pulled away to claim victory.
Despite being handed two separate time penalties for his duel with the seven-time world champion, Verstappen still clung onto second to leave the championship on a knife-edge.
Given Hamilton’s fastest lap point, the pair go into the final race in Abu Dhabi level pegging after a furious battle over 21 races.
However, given Verstappen’s advantage when it comes to race victories, the issue of whether he would run Hamilton off the road to clinch the title was recently brought up to his father, Jos.
“I don’t think that [running Hamilton off the road] will happen,” the former F1 driver told The Daily Mail.
“Max absolutely wants to win. He will definitely go for it.
“He will clearly try to beat him. He will do everything to get the win, that’s for sure. It will be exciting.”
Although far from the only quality on display this year, Verstappen has certainly shown a determination to fight hard in direct duels with Hamilton, rather than give up his place quietly.
Perhaps that much is to be expected given what is on the line, with the 24-year-old aiming to win his first world title.
Age may be on his side, but in light of Mercedes’ dominance in recent years, the Red Bull man has extra urgency to get his hands on the crown while it is within reach.
With Hamilton aiming to win a record-breaking eighth championship, that urgency has prompted fears of trouble in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and Hamilton himself were both seen and heard despairing at Verstappen’s tactics in Jeddah, with the Brit sustaining damage to his front wing.
After a controversial incident which saw the pair collide when Verstappen slowed to let Hamilton past, Wolff was seen launching his headphones to the ground, and the Silver Arrows driver had some stern words of his own.
“He brake tested me. I didn’t know what was going on,” he said, “That was just dangerous driving.”