Lewis Hamilton accused of ‘dirty driving’ following Verstappen crash

After a drama-packed race, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix after a last-moment push ahead of Charles Leclerc.

However, the seven-time world champion and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen clashed on the track during the first lap of the race.

As a result, the Dutchman was sent sliding off the grid and into the barriers thus ending his race.

Hamilton, as a punishment, was awarded a 10-second time penalty.

Entire situation was controversial

The nature of the incident made the situation highly controversial as both teams refused to take the blame for it and pointed fingers at the other.

With lights out, Hamilton and Verstappen were immediately locked in a wheel-to-wheel battle that went on for nine corners of the track.

Hamilton wanted to go up the inside of Copse and ended up tagging Verstappen who was nudged off at a high speed into the wall.

Verstappen emerged from his destroyed car unharmed but a bit shaken from the 180mph, 51G-impact crash and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

The race was immediately stopped to retrieve Verstappen’s car and to repair the barriers.

What exactly happened?

Hamilton tried to go up the outside. However, after deciding against it, he dived back inside leading to his left front wheel clipping Verstappen’s right rear.

“That was my line, he turned in on me,” Hamilton said.

Neither team was willing to yield and Hamilton was worried that he might have damaged his car.

After the red flags were drawn, Mercedes had the opportunity to work on the car.

Red Bull boss blames Hamilton

The Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, described Hamilton’s driving as “desperate” and “dirty”.

“Every driver who has driven this circuit knows you don’t stick a wheel up the inside at Copse,” he said.

“It was 100% Max’s corner, as far as I am concerned full blame lays on Hamilton. It could have been a massive accident, thank god he has walked away unscathed.

“I hope you are going to deal with it appropriately,” he added.

War of words

After the incident, there was a war of words that broke out through messages to the FIA race director, Michael Masi.

The Mercedes team manager, Ron Meadows, stated: “Lewis was significantly alongside at turn nine.”

Mercedes team boss, Toto Wolff, emailed Masi a diagram on what was his take on the incident.

Both the team bosses went to the stewards to make their cases heard.

After the investigation, Hamilton was awarded a 10-second time penalty, much to the displeasure of the crowds.

Horner, however, called the punishment ‘light’ and the entire incident a ‘professional foul’.

Leclerc vs Hamilton

Hamilton accepted his punishment and set about trying to overcome the major disadvantage that Mercedes had.

Towards the end, Mercedes were just a second off Leclerc and they decided to stick to their original plan.

While Leclerc was suffering from engine cutouts on lap 14, he was able to maintain the lead till the end of the race.

The two drivers were around six seconds ahead of Lando Norris and Hamilton pitted on lap 27 and took his penalty emerging fifth behind Norris.

Two laps later, Leclerc pitted and resumed his lead.

Towards the end of the race

With 23 laps to go, Hamilton was in fourth, 12 seconds off Leclerc. Then on lap 31, he crossed Norris and set off behind his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton by on lap 40 and once in second, the Brit was nine seconds behind Leclerc.

With 10 laps remaining, Hamilton began to pump out the fastest laps in a bid to catch the Ferrari driver.

On lap 49, he finally caught up with Leclerc and went on to claim his eighth win at Silverstone.

Carlos Sainz finished sixth for Ferrari, Alpine drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon finished seventh and ninth, Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll finished eighth while Yuki Tsunoda finished tenth for AlphaTauri.

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One Response

  1. Hennie Theart July 20, 2021

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