Jul.19 - As controversy explodes following the British GP, the world of Formula 1 is split over who was to blame for the crash that left championship leader Max Verstappen briefly in hospital.

Mercedes' Toto Wolff insists race winner Lewis Hamilton has the rulebook on his side for the clash that ended with Verstappen's 51G impact, while Red Bull is reportedly considering pursuing its options for a harsher penalty.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, however, had the closest view of the incident from directly behind.

"Maybe Lewis was not completely at the apex, but it's also true that Max was quite aggressive on the outside," he said.

Elsewhere, the reaction to the clash was highly charged, with Britain's Sky News claiming that some on social media had even directed racial abuse at the seven time world champion.

"I think it's important for all of us to take a step back. I'm sure emotions are running high," Hamilton said.

However, Leclerc admitted that when Hamilton tried a near identical move on him on the inside of Copse corner to win Sunday's race, he gave extra space to avoid the same fat.

"When I was younger," Hamilton said, "I was probably as aggressive as Max. Maybe not as aggressive actually, but unfortunately the aggression has stayed from his side and we collided.

"It's unfortunate but as Charles said it's a racing incident, these things happen.

"I enjoy racing with him, but I would never back down from anyone and I will not be bullied into being less aggressive."

Hamilton, 36, is not even ruling out more incidents with Verstappen in 2021.

"I don't really know what more to say. Just game on," he said.

"There needs to be respect on the track and if not, that's going to happen more often I guess."

For their part, Red Bull and Mercedes bosses traded barbs both in race control and the media, with Wolff insisting that Mercedes is far from writing off the 2021 title.

"We are fighting with everything we have," he said. "The fight with Red Bull is so close that we are reaching for every straw."

As for former and current F1 drivers, they have mixed feelings about the clash.

Mark Webber called Hamilton's driving "really clumsy", while Fernando Alonso insisted the seven time world champion "couldn't just disappear" once he was alongside Verstappen.

"It was a bad moment, but there was nothing special about it," said the Spaniard. "Just unlucky."

Daniel Ricciardo was also reluctant to "judge" his competitors, but he thinks Hamilton "attacked too hard" and accidentally "skidded into Max".

However, occasional FIA steward Mika Salo told C More: "Unfortunately, I see this as Max's fault. He should have lifted off.

"The (Hamilton) penalty to me looked a bit like 'ok, you're not guilty, but you get 10 seconds'."

Verstappen's former teammate Alex Albon thinks the clash has been brewing "since the first race" this year, with current Red Bull racer Sergio Perez calling the wheel-to-wheel action "over the edge".

"They fought too close and too hard," said the Mexican. "The main thing is that Max is ok."

Ricciardo concluded: "It happens - it's racing. But I sympathise with Max. Copse is pretty much the last corner where you want to get into an accident like that."


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44 F1 Fan comments on “Controversy explodes after first Hamilton-Verstappen clash

  1. f1award

    Lets leave it to the current drivers. LeClerc, taken on the same corner, was ok with it as was former enemy Alonso. Racing incident said Leclerc. Let the armchair experts commence their LH rants.

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  2. ReallyOldRacer

    Re Copse: two drivers saying FU at the same time and they crashed. Both of them deserved to be in the rhubarb. Sir Lewis got lucky.....this time. Always remember the Beatles, instant karma gonna' get you.

    Racing fans are wonderful and we all deserve our opinions, but not many base those opinions on actual facts. First, we must appreciate the racers' thought process. Sometimes you are a victim of the red haze. In this case it was scarlet. BOTH of these guys deserve blame, but that does not make the crash 'no fault'.

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  3. Paul Anderson

    watch the hypocrisy.. Max has always been a missile looking for a target with late passes and bumping others of the track... just watch replays of this weekends passes and of prior years by Karun... rough racing to push through will only work when the other driver backs off - just as D Hill explained and LH and VB have always backed out.. Until now... this type of racing reminds me of Senna / Mansell... J Vill / M Schumi... D Hill/ M Schumi and even Gille V / Peroni.. Hard wheel to wheel racing will result in tears for one or both if there is no respect... But not always... see Spa this year with Gasly and Perez ... but watch the Red Bull hypocrisy.... it’s acceptable for Max to dive asn bump but not others???

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    • Smokey

      Horner is following the company line, supporting his employee, even though his employee has a reputation for not knowing when to back off and make space for others.
      The other drivers you named at least respected each other and usually knew when to back off and make space!

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  4. Marc Joseph St-Georges

    In fact Hamilton just far to admits that is time is over!!!

    Max become a way better driver and he is full skill! All I can say, baby Hamilton will be push backward this season and will be mid-field next years.

    Period

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    • tarbh rua

      once hamas drapes himself in the butchers apron these fools will love him no matter what he does.fair play dont come into it.rather unsporting what what.rule brittania my ass

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    • tarbh rua

      mercedes is a wealthy concern with a lot of influence(money).fair play says ban the clown.brown envelopes flying under the table.say anything about him he hides behind the racist card.after that brownish and blak lives matter.white european lives not so much

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  5. Adrian Roscher

    Had it been any other driver but Lewis, they would've been disqualified from the race. One of the fastest corners on the entire circuit (maybe 130R is faster?) is NOT the place you make a clumsy inside lunge that results in your front tire banging into the lead car's rear tire so hard as to put him off the road and into the fence. Max's car could easily have become airborne and slammed right thru that fence and into the crowd behind, with dozens injured or killed. Lewis needs to sit out a race, period.

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      • Adrian Roscher

        Yes, the controversial "PIT maneuver" which stands for "Precision Immobilization Technique" - tho the "precision" aspect has been largely debunked as the increasing frequent use of the move has caused numerous fatalities and is generally regarded as only warranted if use of force on the suspects would be otherwise warranted.

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  6. Derek Pritchard

    I'm a fan of Hamilton but if it was football he would have received a red card.
    If I was Hamilton I would not have gone out again, after being close to killing his rival, due to what was clearly his mistake
    Mercedes showed that F1 is not a sport, it's a marketing exercise.
    They influenced the award of the 10 seconds penalty, which effectively became nothing at all. Disgraceful.
    I've owned two Mercedes but will never buy another.

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    • shroppyfly

      coming into 21 LH has 6 points on his licence Max had zero points for start of 21 season .

      Hammy got 2 points for causing SS crash i think, but equal blame attributed by many so MV got points too, ....oh no he didnt did he ....

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    • tarbh rua

      know where you are coming from .never owner a merc dont want one.i drive a morgan ,class carnot a fan of hamilton either.not a backbone in his body.classless.money dont buy breeding or manners

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  7. Barry A

    Not saying who's to blame here, but surely with the introduction of price caps next year they should make penalties for "causing a collision" at least partly compensation based eg the team deemed at fault should have to pay money to the other party/parties so that they are not out of pocket for the rest of the season? It would then be up to the team if they wanted to pass some or all of the cost on to their driver/replace their driver, pay the fine in full themselves etc as they see fit, and it would be up to the team to dictate how much risk they can afford their drivers to take, and up to the driver how much they want to try to follow those orders.

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    • shroppyfly

      Have you been injured in an accident at work that wasn't your fault?, call our Amsterdam office and talk to one of our car accident advisors
      Have you been hit by an uninsured driver, use our no win- no fee service (underwritten by redbullsolicitors ) the accident specialists .

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  8. shroppyfly

    I Love the difference between Euro/Brit posters and American , with the brits and europeans , nothings off the table, we go as close to the bone as we can , where as i get the impression sometimes the American posting are sometimes hesitant when its a sensitive subject , Hamilton for eg

    I could be wrong of course but there's another thing which tickled me its the name someone gave to Lewis "hamas", now its just a nickname , no more harmfully intended than lulu or lucy im sure, but each time i see it, i just cant help thinking but , surely that's--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Somehow I assumed that hamas was simply HamAss lacking the final 's'. Even my conspiracy theory bent mind doesn't associate Sir Lewis with the Palestinean militia. That one of you insensitive Euro/Brits would call Lucy an ass.....now that I get. LOL

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      • shroppyfly

        I should clarify that when Ror says Euro/Brits hes referring to Brits as Europeans , not members of that Sekt , the Political/Economic union run by the Germans , not for the first time they've attempted to run Europe either.bit of sarcasm always goes down well i find .
        I can court controversy, but like a Big Mac served to me with double helping of cheese by employee of the month Jax, its always done with a taint of humour, meaning no ill will, to one of life's poor unfortunates in his chosen career choice .who henceforth shall now be renamed Flipper, referring to his skill in flipping those burgers for a living .

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      • shroppyfly

        Who knows what goes through the mind of Sir Lewis Hamilton, all we do is , he had a new gf, his physio Ange, quite telling after the race , him with his arm draped around her like two loved up high school brats .

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  9. All Hail The King Of Formula 1, Sir Lewis Hamilton

    Nobody is mentioning that max was weaving in front of Lewis multiple times before the accident, blocking him when clearly Lewis was actually had a few chances to overtake max and why not.

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  10. f1oldfan

    F1 since taken over by Liberty has become all about the money they can get out of it. LH is currently a good money earner for them so all will be done to make sure he is there for the media paypit. F1 is getting more and more like NASCAR and may even end up as the same series if Liberty get there way

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  11. shroppyfly

    For Hungary RB are announcing new sponsors for the car ,replacing Honda on the rear wing its now going to alternate between "Mind the gap" and "watch your speed" courtesy of uk driver safety division

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  12. Bhavin Mehta

    Lewis has deliberately and very smartly played the manoeuvre. He is a sick man. I know everyone will ask why him and not LeClerc as well? Well, the answer is simple, Look at where Lewis hits this guy, He is outside and Lewis has actually come out of the racing line to push the guy. He is worse than Ben Johnson, who can only claim victory fairly when everything is in his favour. Else he is not as good as we'd like like to believe based on his titles and victories. As for Le Clerc overtaking, well, he was on the racing line but Lewis was busy trying to hurt Verstappen's chances, so he failed to see him and lost his position. If Lewis is not reprimanded for such an incident, then like most sports i believe people will begin to start believing that even f1 is into fixing. that will be the saddest day of my life. Seems the site won't accept my opinion so it is being rejected. Guess Lewis and f1 being British are hand in glove. Sorry to be so mean, just dint realise even you've become WWE.

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