By Josh Zealand
Championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided on lap 29 of the Italian Grand Prix which left them both out of the race.
McLaren team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris came home one-two for the team’s first Grand Prix victory since Brazil 2012 and the teams first one-two since the Canadian GP in 2010.
However, this incredible achievement was overshadowed by the dramatic collision which saw Championship leader Max Verstappen and his main rival Lewis Hamilton both beached in the gravel at turn two.
As Hamilton exited the pit lane, Verstappen aimed to go round the outside of the Mercedes into a tight turn one. Verstappen was fairly squeezed by Hamilton into the inside of turn two, where he bounced over the sausage kerb and onto the back Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes chassis.
Of course, the two drivers did not see themselves at fault for the accident. Lewis Hamilton blamed Verstappen for the incident: “He (Max) just didn’t want to give way today and he knew that when he was going into two what was going to happen.”
“Max was coming. I made sure I left a car’s width on the outside for him. I went into turn one and I was ahead, and I was ahead going into turn 2 and then all of a sudden he was on top of me.”Hamilton’s overview of the crash
Hamilton was reminded of a similar incident earlier in the race where he was forced over the curbs by Max Verstappen at a different corner: “Its exactly the same scenario that happened in turn four where I went round the outside, I was exactly the same position, but I gave way, and that’s racing”.
Max Verstappen’s view on the incident is clearly opposite to that of Hamilton’s and he was surprised by how Hamilton raced him into the corner: “I didn’t expect him to just keep on squeezing squeezing squeezing because he didn’t even need to but even if he would’ve left me just a car width we would’ve raced out of turn two anyway.”
“We realised it was going to be close into turn one, so he (Lewis) cut across already after the white line and then I had to go onto the green part to not touch. Then I went around the outside and of course you realise I was going for it (the corner), so he just kept on squeezing me.”Max Verstappen’s Overview of the incident
Verstappen continued: “I wanted to work with him because I wanted to race. You need two people to work together to make the corner and we’re fighting for position. Yeah unfortunately we touched.”
The FIA have since given Max Verstappen a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi which is next up on the Formula One calendar. It will take place on the 24th – 26th September and is sure to be a thrilling watch once again as this historic Championship battle continues.