Red Bull driver Max Verstappen labeled Lewis Hamilton “unsportsmanlike” and “disrespectful” after the pair collided on the first lap of the British Grand Prix at the world-famous Silverstone Circuit.
Verstappen and Hamilton came together at Copse corner during the opening lap of the 2021 British Grand Prix. Copse corner is one of the fastest corners on any Formula 1 circuit, with drivers taking it at up to 180mph. Neither driver was prepared to concede their position, which resulted in a collision and Verstappen suffering an impact of 51G. Thankfully, Verstappen escaped relatively unscathed and should be fit to drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 1.
The British Grand Prix stewards judged Hamilton to be “predominately at fault” for taking out Verstappen, who is the current favorite with betnow in the Formula 1 Drivers Championship betting markets. They stated Hamilton went into the corner “on a line that did not reach the apex of the corner, with room available on the inside.”
“Verstappen” by Lars Baron/POOL EFE is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Hamilton Hit With 10-Second Penalty; Wins By 3.871s
Hamilton received a 10-second penalty, something he later said he disagreed with the decision but took it on the chin. The seven-time world champion did more than take the penalty on the chin; he used it to inspire him for the rest of the race. Hamilton not only clawed back those 10-seconds but managed to finish 3.871s ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and 11.125s in front of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, could only muster a 16th place finish.
The victory was Hamilton’s eight at the British Grand Prix, and the points gained from it put him within eight points of Verstappen at the summit of the Drivers Championship. Hamilton celebrated his win on the podium, much to the disappointment of Verstappen, who was having a series of checks done at a nearby hospital.
Drivers and Bosses Speak To The Press
Verstappen sent a tweet to his 1.8 million followers shortly after watching Hamilton spray champagne over the other podium finishers.
“Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to a dangerous move Lewis made on the track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior, but we move on.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, said Hamilton’s move was an amateur mistake that put his driver at risk.
“It is disappointing and annoying; his actions have jeopardized another driver’s safety. Putting a fellow driver in hospital and writing off a car and receiving a menial penalty and winning a grand prix doesn’t feel like much of a penalty.”
Horner added that Verstappen is extremely lucky to have escaped serious injury.
Both Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff dismissed the incident. Wolff said in an interview after the race, “It is a situation we all have seen in the past when great drivers race with each other. When nobody is prepared to give in, these kinds of situations can happen. But it takes two to tango.”
Hamilton also chimed in. “It is important for all of us to take a step back. I am sure emotions are running high there, and I know what it’s like to lose points and be in that position. I don’t think I am in a position to have to apologize for anything. We are out there racing.”
“Hamilton” by motorsports is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Hungarian Grand Prix Will Be Amazing
Emotions are still running high, and rightly so, so expect the word of words to continue for a long time to come. However, all parties need to regain their composure to concentrate on the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, set to run from August 1.
The Hungaroring is a narrow, twisty, often dusty track where it is challenging to pass. Hamilton loves it in Hungary thanks, in part, to having won its Grand Prix eight times, including in 2020 when he beat Verstappen by 8.702s.
On such a tight track, and with the bad blood between Hamilton and Verstappen, the Hungarian Grand Prix looks set to be a fantastic spectacle.