The enormous tension they accumulated Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton for several races it definitely exploded at Silverstone. The two title contenders, very aggressive from the start, collided at Copse, one of the fastest corners on the calendar, during the first lap of the British GP. The result?. Verstappen ended up in the hospital – fortunately without serious injuries – after crashing into the barriers supporting a pressure of 51G on impact. Y Hamilton he was able to repair his car, serve a 10 ”penalty and achieve his fourth victory of the season, cutting 25 points from the leader, who now has only 8 points. It is the summary of an episode that will bring a tail and that may end up deciding the tightest World Cup in recent years. And of course, it has multiple interpretations.
Red Bull’s fury
Let’s go first for the part of the ‘aggrieved’. Verstappen and the Red Bull dome, with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, they were furious, both at the maneuver of Hamilton as for the subsequent penalty imposed by the FIA and that did not prevent him from winning the race.
Christian Horner spoke of “amateur and desperate mistake” on the part of Hamilton and suggested that his team could choose to request the FIA to take more drastic measures considering that the penalty in the race was not enough. “It’s Max’s biggest accident, so I’m thankful that it ‘just’ was that, and that he got out of the car under his own power. As far as I’m concerned, all the blame is on Hamilton, who should never have been in that position, on that corner, they were never in parallel. Every driver who has driven on this circuit knows that a wheel does not get inside Copse. That’s a huge accident and it was 100% Max’s curve, “warned the Red Bull team manager.
“I don’t know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behavior should be punished with a suspension or something like that,” he added. Helmut Marko. “If a competitor savagely touches our rear wheel with his front wheel, that is no longer a racing accident at the fastest corner on the circuit. That is negligent and dangerous behavior. “
Own Verstappen made his displeasure clear: “Obviously I am very disappointed to have been taken out of the race in this way. The sanction imposed does not help us in any way and does not do justice to the dangerous maneuver that Lewis made on the track. See the celebrations after the race. race while still in the hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior, but we keep going, “wrote the Dutch driver in his networks, who left the clinic late at night after tests ruled out major injuries and will now have two weeks to rest before the Hungarian GP, the last race before the Formula 1 summer break.
Mercedes and Hamilton fight back
“Two do not fight if one does not want to and both have not given themselves even the slightest space. When you are a driver, maybe you see it differently, but you need to understand that if the front axle is in the middle of the car that goes around the outside, the curve is yours. An accident involves two pilots “, considered the head of Mercedes Toto wolff.
Hamilton He was even more forceful in his defense: “I always try to be measured in the way I approach things, especially when I fight with Max. It is already known that he is very aggressive, “said the British seven-time champion.” I was completely by his side, and he did not leave me space. I do not agree with the stewards, but I take my sanction and continue with my work. I will not Complain. Everyone is going to have a different opinion and I don’t particularly care, “he stressed.
Annoyed by criticism of Verstappen, Hamilton He added that “from my point of view, I don’t think I have to apologize for anything. We were competing. None of us want anyone to get injured, that’s not my intention, so I hope Max is okay. I’ll call you to check that it’s okay. There will be a lot of difficult races and we have to learn to find a decent balance. “
The FIA’s arguments
Michael Masi, FIA race director, received strong pressure from the two teams as could be seen in his communications with Horner and Wolff. He made a concept clear to both parties: “When our stewards judge an incident, they value it by the incident itself, not by what happens next, not because of its consequences“. For them Hamilton he was at fault and deserved those 10 “penalties, regardless of the revenue he made later with his victory:” Car # 44 was on a line that did not allow it to reach the apex of the curve with space available towards the inside. When the car # 33 turned in the curve, the # 44 did not avoid the contact and the left front part of his car collided with the right rear part of the # 33. The # 44 is considered predominantly guilty ”, indicates the official statement.
The FIA and F1 also had to issue another note asking “respect” for Hamilton, who was “the subject of multiple examples of racist abuse” on social media. “We condemn this behavior. These people have no place in our sport ”. In this sense, from Red Bull they expressed solidarity with their rival: “Although we are great opponents on the track, we are all united against racism. We are upset and saddened by the racist abuse that Hamilton had to endure yesterday after the collision with Verstappen.”
Jos Verstappen and Anthony Hamilton they also entered the confrontation. The former Formula 1 driver valued as “ridiculous” the sanction to Hamilton. “They could have disqualified him. Max He left space for him and was behind him, you can’t overtake on the inside ”, he pointed out.
The response of the father of Hamilton he did not wait: “After all, 99 times out of 100 would be a racing accident. That is what we want to see because it is a competition. Lewis has no problem with Max. They both want to put on a good show on the track, but sometimes it doesn’t turn out as expected, but that’s how racing is, ”he commented.
This is how Sainz and Alonso see it
Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively at Silverstone, also gave their opinion. “It was a strong accident and I think it is very difficult to judge. Only both know what they could have done differently to avoid it, “said the Madrid native. Alonso He saw it as a set of the very hard battle they staged Verstappen and Hamilton: “The incident is difficult to assess from the outside. It looked very tight. I think Lewis had more than half a car next to Max. So in a way Lewis couldn’t just disappear from the inside lane, you know, it’s not like you can just evaporate. So I don’t think it was … It was an unfortunate moment in the race, but nothing intentional, no bad maneuvering by either driver in my opinion. It was bad luck. “
And now that?
A month ago, referring to the pulse they maintain Verstappen and Hamilton for the world title, Christian horner made a curious tennis simile: “It’s like Djokovic against Federer. Max forces Lewis to bring out the best in himself. And vice versa. “In Imola, Portimao and Barcelona Verstappen he pushed his challenge to the limit. And at Silverstone, Hamilton He has paid you in his own currency. “Maybe Lewis is no longer as fighter as he used to be,” he told Bernie ecclestone on the eve of the Grand Prix of Britain. A few words that felt like a ‘stab’ to the driver who has dominated Formula 1 with authority in recent years. After five consecutive victories for Red Bull (1 for Sergio Pérez and 4 for Verstappen), Hamilton He hit the table and gave the 140,000 fans that packed the stands a triumph with a lot of epic but also a background of controversy that will continue. There are 13 major prizes ahead and the ‘temperature’ continues to rise.