Max Verstappen took a dig at Lewis Hamilton, saying that if he hadn’t crashed at Silverstone, the latter would have been defeated way earlier.

Verstappen and Hamilton contested an epic championship duel that went down to the last lap of the last race of the season. The Dutchman had a solid lead at one point, but the Mercedes driver whittled it away to set up a tantalising finale at Abu Dhabi.

At Yas Marina, ‘Super Max’ undid all of the British Knight’s hard work by winning the race and his first world championship. However, he reckoned it should have never gotten to racing for everything in the UAE in the first place.

Verstappen took a dig at Hamilton, saying that had he not had his shunt at Silverstone, Abu Dhabi would have been a mere formality.

“Headbutting the tyre wall in Silverstone wasn’t that great, was it,” he said, as quoted by Planet F1.

“These were key moments otherwise it would have been decided a lot earlier. Especially towards the end of the season, getting a few wins where we didn’t expect it, or a pole position, or even a fastest lap for an extra point.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen about to crash at Abbey. Silverstone July 2021.
The 2021 season in a nutshell. Source: planetf1.com

“These things actually do matter nowadays when you have a championship fight as we had.”

Grinding it out

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was in agreement with his driver, and hailed his resilience to come back despite the setbacks he suffered.

“There have been some big moments,” Horner said.

“It was important to get those victories, the run of results (France and double-header in Austria). Then there were moments like Azerbaijan we had to come back from.

“It was important to come back strong, and Max did that, and then Silverstone was a key moment, and again how he came back from that.”

“For me, in the latter part of the championship, particularly Austin, where we were certainly the underdog on that day, he delivered a victory that was truly outstanding,” he concluded.

Read more: Montoya slams Perez for helping Verstappen at Abu Dhabi – “Twenty years ago, he would have been destroyed”