In round 27 of 53 in Sunday’s Formula 1 race at Monza, the two drivers, who are in the top two places in the world championship, ended up side by side.
Neither of them wanted to let the other slip past, and in a highly dramatic way, they collided and drove out.
– This is monumental. These are two drivers fighting for the World Cup title, they can not stand to lose terrain to each other, and then they collide like this, said an astonished Jolyon Palmer, former Formula 1 driver for Renault, to the BBC.
Who was to blame for Sunday’s accident?
The replays showed that Verstappen’s car took off from the ground and was a hair’s breadth from hitting Hamilton’s head with one tire, but fortunately it appears that both drivers escaped injury.
– Hamilton was saved by the “Halo buoy”, said Jennie Gow, BBC’s reporter on the inner court. The JHalo buoy is a safety buoy that protects drivers’ heads. It was first introduced from 2018 as mandatory for all Formula 1 cars.
Fortunately, both drivers recovered unharmed from the collision.
Totally disagree after the race
In an interview on Viasport after the race, Hamilton put much of the blame on his Dutch rival.
– I gave up the width of a car into turn one, and gave Max enough space. And when we drive out in turn one we come with great speed, and I was in front. Then came turn two and suddenly the car was on top of me. It landed on my head and I feel some pain, Hamilton summed up.
– When Verstappen enters turn two, he is off the field, he is not on the field. He’s halfway off the line. “I think he knew what was going to happen,” Hamilton added.
Verstappen does not agree.
– Lewis prevented me already at the start of turn one, and it just continued further around towards the other turn, Verstappen thinks.
– In my perspective, you need two pieces to make a turn, and when Lewis does not give me space, there is a great danger of a crash, he adds.
The Dutchman is far from happy that it was once again an unfinished race in a very important season.
– It is very unfortunate, what happened today, no one likes to see it. But I think we’re professional enough to get over it and just keep going. As I said, it is very unfortunate, he says to Sky Sports.
On Sunday night, he also posted a message Instagram where he again believes Hamilton was strongly complicit in what happened as it turned out.
Wolff: – Tactical by Verstappen
Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff tells Sky Sports that he, surprisingly, takes Hamilton’s side in the discussion.
– In football, this had been described as a tactical felling. He (Verstappen) probably knew that if Lewis had gotten ahead of there, he would have won the race, says Toto Wolff.
That statement makes Red Bull boss Christian Horner react.
– I am disappointed that he says that it was a tactical action from Max. It was a “racing incident”, and fortunately no one was injured today, Horner says according to Sky Sports.
When the crash occurred, both Hamilton and Verstappen were in the middle of the field. It was due to two bad pit stops from both drivers.
The verstappen on the inside collided with Hamilton’s car and was literally thrown onto Hamilton’s car.
– This is what happens when you do not make room, thundered a cursed Verstappen on the storage radio.
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It now remains to be seen whether any of the drivers will be punished after the collision. Formula 1 confirms that the incident will be investigated.
Verstappen is punished
In the 1730s, the two star leaders left the jury room, and just over an hour later it is confirmed that Verstappen has been given a disciplinary penalty after the incident.
Karun Chandhok, Sky Sports commentator and racing driver, analyzed the crash as follows:
– My first thoughts: This is a “racing incident” that both could have averted. In the opening round in turn two, Hamilton did not get enough space. When they collided, Verstappen did not get enough space to avoid the “notch”. But I suspect he drove faster than normal, says Chandhok.
Verstappen got out of the car early after the collision, while Hamilton sat for a while.
Viaplay commentator Atle Gulbrandsen pointed out that Hamilton was waiting for Verstappen to go, so they would not go together.
It says something about the mood after the accident.
It is not the first time this season that the two World Cup rivals collide. At the Silverstone track in England, Hamilton drove into Verstappen at very high speed. Verstappen ended up right in the safety barrier at high speed. Verstappen’s race was over, while Hamilton drove to victory.
For a long time afterwards, heated messages were hurled between the two camps.
The two are fighting for the World Cup title in Formula 1. Before Sunday’s race, Hamilton was three points behind Verstappen in the World Cup summary.
Daniel Ricciardo eventually won the Italy Grand Prix ahead of teammate Lando Norris. It was Ricciardo’s first Formula 1 victory since Monaco in 2018.
– A fantastic result for McLaren, said Viaplay commentator Atle Gulbrandsen.
– Deep down, I knew this was going to happen, so thank you for having my back. And to everyone who thought I had disappeared, I have not, said a happy Ricciardo on the team radio after the finish.
Valtteri Bottas from Mercedes took third place after Red Bulls Sergio Pérez, who finished in third place, received a five-second penalty and fell to fifth place.