Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen ‘not friends’ as relationship comes to light

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has claimed that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are not friends after the pair crashed at the Italian Grand Prix. F1 stewards ruled that Verstappen caused the accident and he has been hit with a three-place grid penalty.

Fortunately, both drivers got out of their cars unscathed, although Hamilton says he had a sore neck.

It is the second time the pair have collided this season as they also came together on the opening lap at Silverstone.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by five points in the Drivers’ Championship and Mercedes reckon the Red Bull star purposely caused the crash.

But Marko has defended his star and insists that the battle was fair, even though the relationship between the two men is fractured.

“The fact that they are no longer friends has not changed the result,” Marko told Sky Sports Germany.

“The title fight will continue in the same way.”

When asked if comparisons could be drawn with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost’s historical rivalry, Marko played down the notion.

He added: “That is a huge difference. The result is the same, but then it was intentional. Now with both of them there was no intent.”

Hamilton posted on social media once he got home and felt lucky to still be alive.

“It’s days like today I am reminded of how lucky I am,” he said.

“It takes a millisecond to go from racing to a very scary situation.

“Today someone must have been looking down, watching over me! My necks a bit sore as the adrenaline wears off – it was a bit of a hit on the head but I’m doing okay!

“The halo stopped the crash from being a lot worse and I’m incredibly grateful to all those that work to make our cars and racing safer.

“The support I receive from you keeps me pushing and fighting. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you, you are truly the best. Still we rise!”

Verstappen will serve his punishment at the Russian Grand Prix in a fortnight.

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