Max Verstappen holds a psychological edge over Lewis Hamilton because he currently leads the championship standings as we go into the final two races of the season, that is the view of former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher.
The two title rivals have been battling hammer and tongs all year and with just two Grands Prix to go the championship is still very much up for grabs.
It’s Verstappen who leads the way by eight points, however, and Ralf feels as though that might give the Dutchman a slight edge mentally when it comes to battling for position on track.
Indeed, the German also suggested that because Max is at an earlier stage in his career, he will feel freer around the thought of failing and falling short this season, because he has more time in the years to come to make amends:
“At the end of the day, Max can lose and still say to himself: ‘Well, we were close, it just didn’t work out. But I still have enough time to try again’,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“That’s a bit different for Lewis. So from my view, more pressure is on him.”
Schumacher also said who he felt might back down in a wheel-to-wheel fight in the final two races:
“Lewis, of course.
“He already did that in Brazil, and he did it very skilfully. I found the whole discussion about penalties a little strange afterwards, but Hamilton does need to watch out for Max for the simple reason that he is leading.
“I hope we get through these last two races without an accident. There are some people saying Max could make a crash happen, but I really don’t hope for that,” Schumacher said.
“And the bottom line is that I think the fans want to see the better driver win with a fair decision.”