Lewis Hamilton has been given the brunt of criticism for his crash with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix, but the slow motion replay suggests it was a racing incident.
Lights out and away we go!- Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 18, 2021
HAMILTON AND VERSTAPPEN COLLIDE! :boom:
Verstappen is out of the car.
Red Flag :triangular_flag_on_post:
:computer:: https://t.co/CkqLNAZAQx#SkyF1 #BritishGP :flag_gb: pic.twitter.com/6kvCtyyqjN
Hamilton won his eighth British Grand Prix on Sunday but it certainly wasn't without incident and controversy, with Verstappen going off on the first lap.
The two rivals nearly made contact several times on the opening lap, with Hamilton getting alongside the pole sitter before Verstappen got ahead again, but at Copse they crashed.
Hamilton went into the side of his rival, after getting alongside him, and the Red Bull went careering into the gravel pit and hit the barrier, ending his race.
The championship leader and his team were understandably unhappy and Hamilton got a 10 second penalty for causing the incident.
However Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok showed slow motion footage that suggested Verstappen was as much to blame for turning in when the pair were side by side in the corner, suggesting he could have given more space.
Max Verstappen fans will complain and Call Lewis Hamilton all the names they can think of but NONE of them want to show this Footage.- El Presidente:crown: :blue_heart: (@ItsKingWanga) July 18, 2021
Max was Clearly on the wrong but they're not ready for this Conversation #BritishGP #SilverstoneGP pic.twitter.com/0NlFhgjx2j
During the race Red Bull team principal Max Horner had been on the team radio to complain about Hamilton's driving and he wasn't done with his complaints after the race, "Max has incurred a 51G accident, Lewis Hamilton is a world champion and he shouldn't be making manoeuvres like that. It's unacceptable," Horner told Sky.
"He's put a driver... thank goodness the biggest result for us today is that he was uninjured. He's having to go to hospital for precautionary checks after a 51G accident so I hope Lewis is very happy with himself."
The Mercedes driver won the race, despite his punishment for the incident, to cut the Dutch driver's lead at the top of the championship to eight points, but Horner referred to is as 'hollow victory.'
After an evening in hospital, Verstappen released a statement after after being given the all clear.
Cleared from the hospital after all the checks were ok. Thank you to everyone for all the nice messages and best wishes :pray: pic.twitter.com/zBlfbQ8uh4- Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 18, 2021
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 the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior but we move on pic.twitter.com/iCrgyYWYkm- Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 18, 2021
Whilst there's arguments for it both being a racing incident or it being Hamilton's fault, Red Bull's reaction did seem harsh, with advisor Helmut Marko calling for the seven time world champion to face a race ban.
After the race, the British driver revealed that he had received racist abuse on social media.
The two rivals have been close to crashes on several occasions this season, with Verstappen usually the aggressor, but Hamilton has been far more giving in letting his rival past only to overtake him later on.
This is a rivalry that will certainly rumble on all season.
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