Webber says 'bring on more' Verstappen/Hamilton duels

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Former F1 driver Mark Webber has urged F1 not to rein in the rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, insisting the pair's on-track battles are exactly what the sport needs.

Verstappen and Hamilton quickly emerged as this year's title contenders, dueling wheel-to-wheel on several occasions.

But their collision on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first major flash point between the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers.

The incident led to a raging debate over who was responsible for the clash, with the Red Bull camp going after Hamilton and Mercedes with all guns blazing, criticizing the Briton's move and the team's post-race celebrations that took place while Verstappen was undergoing checks at Coventry Hospital.

F1 chief Ross Brawn called for cooler heads to prevail, while Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hopes Hamilton and Verstappen will race in a "sportsmanlike way" in upcoming races.

But Webber has urged F1 to let Grand Prix racing's battle of the titans play out unhindered.

"It’s brilliant, exactly what we want," said the former Red Bull driver and nine-time F1 winner, speaking on W Series media call.

"I think it was one of the best first laps we’ve seen in a long time. It’s been coming, they’ve had some brilliant wheel-to-wheel battles in Barcelona, Imola, Bahrain and we all knew this was coming.

"Bring on more of it!"

Verstappen and Hamilton will resume their on-track brawl at the Hungaroring, with the Mercedes driver now sitting just 8 points behind his rival in the championship.

Hamilton won the last three races at the tight and twisty Budapest circuit, but Webber reckons that Red Bull will have the edge over Mercedes at the track.

"I think that Lewis is magical at Budapest, he’s absolutely phenomenal at that track," commented the Aussie. "Mind you also Max is handy as well.

"I think the Red Bull will be strong at that track, so Max could have a bit of a Red Bull Ring sort of weekend potentially -- pole and then disappear, so Lewis might not get a punch on him.

"Hamilton is going to need to be at his best again. Verstappen...he’s a gladiator. That’s exactly what we expect of him.

"There probably, inevitably, will be some more carbon fibre between the pair of them going into the air but happy days. It’s what we watch the sport for."

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