Lewis Hamilton made his thoughts on Max Verstappen clear after the rivals collided early in a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Mercedes ace recovered to finish in P2 as part of a memorable one-two, with George Russell clinching his first career race win.
Following an early restart under the safety car, Hamilton and Verstappen made contact after the latter whizzed down the outside of him at turn one in an audacious overtake attempt. Hamilton wasn’t interested in backing down, though, and cut off the reigning world champion into the tight turn two.
Verstappen characteristically joined the Brit in remaining at full pelt, resulting in the left tyre of his Red Bull crashing into the Mercedes’ right rear. The intense moment sent Hamilton into the air and forced him off the track, subsequently dropping out of the top five. Verstappen had to pit for a new wing, and after an investigation, the FIA later handed him a five-second penalty for causing a collision.
After the race, Hamilton was asked about his early contact with Verstappen, to which he responded by insinuating that aggressive, high-risk driving is nothing new for his Red Bull rival. He said on Sky Sports: “You know how it is with Max.”
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During the heat of the collision, Hamilton angrily aimed heat in Verstappen’s direction, telling race engineer Peter Bonnington: “That was no racing incident mate.” But Verstappen was left fuming by his penalty and bit back at his former title rival, ranting: “Where did they expect me to go? He just closed the door on me.”
Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle took the Dutchman’s side, accusing Hamilton of not giving him enough space for the overtake. “I think Max earned the right to a little more space there,” Brundle claimed.
READ MORE: Martin Brundle picks sides as Hamilton and Verstappen crash in Brazil