F1: Hamilton v Verstappen in numbers
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Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has sided with Lewis Hamilton in the debate following Max Verstappen’s heavy crash on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix. Hamilton and Verstappen were racing wheel-to-wheel through the opening corners of Sunday’s race with Hamilton trying to find a way past his championship rival.
The defending F1 champion attempted to make a move coming into Copse, but ended up colliding with Verstappen as the Red Bull driver turned in.
Verstappen ended up flying into the gravel trap and smashed into the tyre barrier.
There were cheers from the Silverstone crowd as Verstappen was able to climb out of his car and walk away from the incident.
But the focus then turned to who was to blame for the collission with Christian Horner pleading with Michael Masi to hand Hamilton a penalty.
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“Everyone who’s driven that corner knows you don’t stick a wheel up the inside at Copse. He’s put him in the fence. Thank god he’s not been hurt. It was a desperate move,” he told Channel 4.
“You do not stick a wheel up at Copse, one of the fastest corners in the world. That’s just dirty driving.
“It’s now with stewards and we hope they deal with it appropriately.”
Hamilton though made it clear that he felt he had the racing line and didn’t feel he was to blame.
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“I was ahead going in there. Pulling alongside, it was my line,” said Hamilton over the team radio.
“He turned in on me, man, Giving the guy space.”
And Szafnauer agreed with the British driver, insisting he felt the crash was a clear racing incident.
“I’ve watched it a few times now and to me, if that isn’t a racing incident, nothing is,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ve often talked about allowing the drivers to race over the first couple of laps for the benefit of the fans, and I think that’s what happened there.
“To me it was 50-50 there.
“Max didn’t have to turn in when he did and Lewis could have been further right, but to me 100 per cent a racing incident.”
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