Hamilton would have killed Verstappen in another era claims Sir Jackie Stewart

Sir Jackie Stewart has expressed his concern over driver safety in modern Formula 1, remarking that the now infamous crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen "would have killed" someone in eras gone by.

The three-time world champion, who raced between 1965 and 1973, believes that had the crash happened while he was driving it would likely have caused a fatality.

Speaking to Talksport, Stewart said: "Lewis' incident with Verstappen was very disturbing for me. Frankly, if that had been in my day and well after my day, Verstappen would've been killed.

"The race track has been made so safe, the run-off areas so big, and the structures that he [Verstappen] finally came to a stop on and even then the g-forces were enormous. I think that was a great example of what Silverstone have done to make the track safer."

During his time in racing, Stewart was a huge advocate of driver safety. 12 drivers died during his spell in the sport, including his team-mate Francois Cevert.

Hamilton's crash with Verstappen came during the very first lap of the British Grand Prix, as the Dutchman was sent careering off the track and into the safety barriers at 51 times the normal force of gravity.

Hamilton received a 10 second penalty for his role in the incident, a punishment which was deemed to lenient by the Red Bull team who appealed for a review to the FIA unsuccessfully.

Verstappen was taken to hospital after the crash but thankfully escaped with just bruising.

Stewart also said he thinks that drivers now take their safety for granted and attempt more risky pieces of driving as a result.

He added: "People are taking more liberties today than they were before because the penalties are not so large… now it's so safe that I think people are taking too many chances.

"The early laps at Silverstone was a good example of that because I think both drivers were overdriving, particularly when you think about it being only the beginning of the race.

"We've got to readdress that and sadly it sometimes takes a big, big action or even a life to make that come to real understanding."

After coming back from the 10 second penalty to win at Silverstone and finishing second at the subsequent Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton now leads the Drivers' Championship standings by eight points from Verstappen who has endured poor luck over the two races.

Formula 1 returns on August 27 at the Belgian Grand Prix.

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