Racing legend and former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan joined Off The Ball on Monday night to discuss Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen has 369.5 points in the F1 Championship entering the final race.
Lewis Hamilton has 369.5 points in the F1 Championship entering the final race.
Verstappen holds a lead because he has won more races this season. But that won't matter if Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Hamilton beat Verstappen in Saudi Arabia this past weekend. It was a controversial race because of a collision between the two drivers. Stewards found that Verstappen was at fault.
Hamilton upped the rivalry between the two by saying afterwards that his counterpart's driving is "over the limit."
The Mercedes driver has seven championships to his name and he is still the best driver in Formula 1. But Verstappen's aggressive style has rattled him recently. Eddie Jordan diagnosed the dynamic between Hamilton and Verstappen for Joe Molloy.
"Do I think he's over the line?" Jordan asked.
"He's certainly on the borderline. That's for sure. But he has a sense of aggression and is it intimidating? Oh I think it probably is. And providing it's not dangerous and within the rules, then good luck to him...if it's a 50-50 tussle, he is never, ever going to back out of that. So you have to give him some credit for being ultra brave. Some of the moves he takes on is unbelievable.
"I've never seen anything like some of it."
Jordan is a Verstappen fan. Max's father Jos Verstappen raced for Jordan when he was a team owner, so Jordan remembers seeing Max when he was in his pram. But that doesn't mean he is rooting for Max to win. Lewis Hamilton is a champion who has the respect of Jordan too. He believes both drivers are worthy of reaching the pinnacle, so Abu Dhabi promises to give us the best of both drivers.
But while Hamilton is the proven commodity and veteran, Jordan is worried about how he has reacted to Versatppen's style.
If he gets pole position, he will hope to stay out in front and not let Verstappen impact him during the race.
"One thing is for sure. Lewis Hamilton saying what he said, you have to say he has him a bit rattled.
"Lewis made phenomenal starts yesterday. What he will be trying to do in his bed tonight is thinking 'How am I going to get pole position because I need to drive away from this guy? I need to be as far away as possible.'
"But is it going to be as easy as that? I don't think so."
The world's renewed interest in F1 will pile further pressure on Hamilton.
He's likely used to pressure from the outside world. He has been a household name for a long time now. But the outside eyes combined with the threat and intimidation factor of Verstappen could be impacting his mindset. Jordan considered what he would do if he was the Mercedes team owner.
"If I had a driver like Lewis Hamilton, I'd say Lewis for me you have displayed that you are the quickest driver in the world. You've got seven titles. You do not need to be apprehensive, you do not need to be intimidated or bullied. Because that's the way he's beginning to sound like. I'd calm him down and make him focus on what is required to do.
"He has to go and get pole position."
Hamilton has the type of rival that will make him or break him in Verstappen.
It will create drama and excitement on Sunday in what could be the best sporting event of the year.