Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen got spooked in a spirited first-lap battle with Lewis Hamilton when the Dutchman spun hard into a barrier. The race was red-flagged Sunday for the tire barrier to be repaired and Mercedes informed Hamilton of his 10-second penalty after he made contact with Verstappen, who had no response on his radio.
Max Verstappen's Formula One championship lead was cut in half after his first lap crash with Lewis Hamilton, who had a 10-second penalty.
The Dutch racer lost control due to contact from the British champion and went crashing into a tire barrier on Sunday at the British Grand Prix. The race official red flagged it so that Max could get back out there racing again-- but is he still be leading by one point or will this incident change everything?
Max Verstappen won the race at Silverstone for the second day in a row, but this time it was due to Lewis Hamilton as he pushed Max into some gravel and caused him to spin out of control.
Max Verstappen waves to the crowd as he heads off in a medical wagon after being taken down by Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull Racing head Christian Horner has said that Max is now 30 minutes for observation and will be monitored closely for any concussion symptoms before returning back to racing duty.
Lewis Hamilton, who was also involved with this crash at Silverstone last year remarked on Saturday's historic sprint qualifying race how important it would be to get ahead of Max straight away since "he can't really go anywhere when you're behind him." Many drivers have been able to gain some ground because they are better equipped but then found themselves stuck there while trying not to succumb too much time or risk an accident themselves from bumping into each other.
The crowd roared as local favorite Hamilton looked inside of Verstappen, then outside, trying desperately to get around his rival until the contact ended the battle. Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari took over the lead and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff sprinted to race control to argue against any penalty for his driver.
A replay showed it was not clear if Hamilton had made an aggressive move on Verstappen or whether he could have avoided him but would've compromised position further down-track through turns 3/4 (if you're interested). The question remains: whose fault is this?
“I was ahead going in there, man,” Hamilton radioed. “I was fully alongside him, my line. Yeah, he turned in on me, man”
Red Bull disagreed.
“That’s an enormous accident and it was 100% Max’s corner,” Horner told race control. “As far as I’m concerned, full blame lies on Hamilton. You could have had a massive accident and thank God he walks away unscathed. I hope you are going to deal with it properly.”
Max Verstappen is a racing champion, to say the least. He won three consecutive races before this race and had been starting from pole for four in a row leading up to it. This was his chance at another win that would put him even further ahead of Lewis Hamilton with only 33 points between them!
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