Jos Verstappen expects rivalry between Max and Hamilton to flare up

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Jos Verstappen says the intense rivalry between his son and Lewis Hamilton is likely to flare up at some point this year as both drivers fight to hold their own against each other.

The first chapter of the Hamilton-Verstappen duel was a hard-fought battle in Bahrain where the Mercedes driver barely came out on top.

But the second encounter between the two men at Imola, won by Verstappen, featured a strong opening lap tussle that was likely a sign of intensive things to come. And Jos Verstappen also noticed some interesting body language between Hamilton and Max after Saturday's shootout.

"We don't know how it will go, but if I look at the shoulder brush they gave each other after qualifying at Imola, I think we can expect something this year", Jos Verstappen told Ziggo Sport TV host Jack van Gelder.

"They are both men who do not want to be inferior to each other. Neither of them will let the other push them aside, especially if it will be more and more about the title.

"I think it's going to be an intense and beautiful year."

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko believes the on-track spat at Tamburello between Verstappen and Hamilton showed that the latter is having difficulty coming to terms with his arch-rival's opposition.

"Hamilton has had no continuous opposition, which has now occurred with Red Bull and Max Verstappen. And apparently - humanly understandable - this leads to reactions," Marko told German outlet RTL.

"It was amazing for me that Hamilton did not give in at the first corner, running on the outside line, because it was clear that he could not win this duel," Marko told RTL.

"This shows that Hamilton is not willing to accept this opposition. He massively and fiercely opposes it.

"If they're in the racing car and run into a corner together, then it's not about tactics, it's just man-to-man.

"It's very good for the audience, for us as a team, the stress burden increases drastically."

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