McLaren star and Max Verstappen’s former teammate at Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo believes the Dutchman is still angry with Lewis Hamilton about their clash at Silverstone.
Ricciardo secured McLaren’s first win since 2012 at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix – and his own first race victory since he drove for Red Bull at Monaco in 2018.
The Australian got a great start to take the lead in the race early and the route to a win was made easier when Verstappen and Hamilton crashed and prematurely retired.
After Hamilton clipped Verstappen and sent the Red Bull crashing out of Silverstone, it was the Dutchman’s turn to be the protagonist at Monza.
Hamilton came out the pits and took the inside line, forcing Verstappen wide as he refused to yield.
The Red Bull bounced aggressively off the kerb and landed on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, with the seven-time world champion saved from serious injury by the halo.
The 36-year-old was left with a neck injury while Verstappen was awarded a three-place grid penalty ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
Controversy began to brew in the incident’s aftermath as Verstappen seemed to walk away from the wreckage without checking on the health of Hamilton – but Ricciardo insisted his former teammate knew the Mercedes star was okay.
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“I know Max, we were teammates for a few years,” Ricciardo told the Pardon My Take podcast.
“That's him, he is a competitor he'll leave it on the track and that's it. I guess he still maybe was carrying a bit of anger or a little bit of frustration from Silverstone.
“Maybe that's why he just said 'stuff this' and walked away. I saw him go over his head but then stopped a bit more forward.
“I think there were things where Lewis was trying to reverse and get out, look I've probably already got too involved but maybe Max saw that and thought, 'okay Lewis is fine,' but I don't know.”
Ricciardo, whose win at Monza was the eighth of his career, is confident the Dutchman would have absolutely helped Hamilton had the 36-year-old been injured.
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The Australian also refused to criticise Verstappen for attempting the move that caused the collision and earned the 23-year-old a penalty.
“If we go through an accident and we know the other driver was injured, I'm one hundred percent sure we would all try to help, we wouldn't just turn our backs,” he added.
“I don't think what Max did was stupid, he saw an opportunity and went for it, but it was obviously not the best [manoeuvre].”
Formula 1 returns for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi on September 26, with Verstappen holding a slender five-point lead over seven-time world champion Hamilton.
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