Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s F1 title fight has suffered its first big flashpoint after a collision on the opening lap of the British GP.
Hamilton continued in the race, which was stopped and then restarted, but was found at fault by stewards for the clash, with a 10-second penalty imposed ahead of the Briton’s first pit stop. He was second behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the time.
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The incident came at Copse as the rivals battled for the lead, with the left-front tyre of Hamilton’s making contact with the right-rear of Verstappen’s.
The impact sent the Red Bull flying through the gravel trap and a big impact with the barriers. Verstappen was able to get out of the car and walk away unscathed and was taken to the circuit’s medical centre for mandatory checks given the size of the impact.
The race was red-flagged and the incident placed under a stewards’ investigation.
Both sides blamed each other, with Red Bull and Mercedes officials each making representations to FIA race director Michael Masi over the radio during the race suspension period.
Analysing the incident on the SkyPad, Karun Chandhok said: “Lewis expected Max to back out of it, and Max expected Lewis out of it.
“But they are both racing drivers, and they are both racing for the world championship.
“Max could have given Lewis more room, and Lewis equally could have gone more to the kerb on the right-hand side.
“If you ask me, they both could have done more. I would probably put it down to a racing incident.”
Hamilton continues in the race and will start second for the restart behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who had started fourth.
More to follow…
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