F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen got a little too close for comfort again in Friday’s first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix. All eyes are on the two world title contenders this weekend following their controversial collision in last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton claimed his fourth victory of the 2021 season and his first since early May at Silverstone last Sunday.
However, Drivers’ Championship leader Verstappen was taken out of the race on lap one following a crash with Hamilton.
In a heated opening, the seven-time world champion looked for the overtake going into the Copse for the first time and stuck a wheel up the inside of Verstappen’s car.
Hamilton wasn’t level when the two drivers’ wheels collided, resulting in the Dutchman blasting into the tyre wall at high speed in a worrying incident.
Despite being handed a 10-second penalty, Hamilton overcame and conquered as he raced to victory as Verstappen went to a hospital for checks.
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The build-up has been edgy going into this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, and the first practice produced another close encounter.
As Hamilton and Verstappen were in the pit lane, both drivers re-entered the track simultaneously.
Verstappen was in front, leaving the former having to stamp on his breaks and give the Red Bull star space.
It was almost another coming together which would have massively intensified the tension between Red Bull and Mercedes as this competitive season continues.
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In his latest press conference ahead of the weekend’s action, Hamilton added fuel to the fire by stating he had no regrets over his move last weekend.
He said: “In terms of the move, I’d do the move exactly the way I did it last time.
“In terms of how I reviewed it, analysed it, and with all my experience, and over the years I have been through a lot, I wouldn’t change it.
“There’s not a huge amount to add, really. As I said at the last race, I saw on the screen that he got out of the car, and he looked okay. Then I was told that he was fine.
“So I wasn’t aware until the media press conference afterwards that he had visited the hospital.
“None of us ever want to see another driver injured or in harm’s way or put a driver in harm’s way.
“But yeah, our focus is solely on this weekend.
“I did give Max a call after race to just check if he was okay and let him know that the respect is still there, but obviously it’s perhaps not reciprocated but that’s okay.”
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