Strong indications abound that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will crash again during their championship battle, according to Alex Wurz.
The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers collided for the second time this season at the Italian Grand Prix, which resulted in both drivers retiring from the race.
Wurz, who is the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, told Sky Sports that a third collision could happen in the remaining races.
When asked if they will crash again, he responded: ‘I think (it’s) very likely, to be honest. Both have to mark their territory.’
The Austrian went on to add: ‘Outside the car I talk to both and they talk to each other, and they have great respect for each other, which is really nice to see.
‘But on the other side, on the track it’s, “hey, we are here to fight, we are here to win the Formula 1 world championship”. It’s one of the most prestigious titles you can have in the world of sport.
‘They have to fight, it’s part of the game. Hopefully with the respect they need for their own team and their own results, and not only for each other, because to finish first you have to finish, so they can’t afford too many crashes.’
The pair first came together at the British Grand Prix when Verstappen was hit by Hamilton as the Mercedes driver attempted to pass him up the inside at Copse.
Verstappen went off the circuit and through the gravel trap before hitting the tyre barrier with an impact of 51G.
Hamilton was judged to be the guilty party on that occasion as he was handed a 10-second penalty, though he was still able to go on and win the race.
At Monza, Verstappen tried to pass Hamilton as he came into the pits but ran out of room and made contact with the Brit’s left rear tyre, launching his car into the air and on top of Hamilton’s car.
Verstappen was seen to be at blame for this crash and he is facing a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix.
Wurz believes both shunts were ‘racing incidents’, and hopes the duels ‘remained fair’.
F1 Motorsport boss Ross Brawn previously said that he hopes the championship is not decided by another collision.
Verstappen leads the race by five points with at least seven races left to go this season. The next race is the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.