Formula 1

Max Verstappen doubles down in his criticism of ‘disrespectful’ Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen doubles down in his criticism of ‘disrespectful’ Lewis Hamilton as Red Bull driver insists rival’s and Mercedes’ antics in wake of British Grand Prix crash ‘shows how they really are’

  • Max Verstappen has doubled down on his criticism of rival Lewis Hamilton 
  • Hamilton and Verstappen collided in the opening lap of the British Grand Prix 
  • The Red Bull star fumed at Hamilton’s ecstatic celebrations with supporters
  • Verstappen maintains that Hamilton was ‘disrespectful’ in the aftermath 

Max Verstappen threw away an olive branch and renewed his war of words with Lewis Hamilton on Thursday – ahead of the most hotly-anticipated Grand Prix in years.

The Red Bull driver is clearly still smarting over the collision that ended his race at Silverstone two weeks ago- and the wild Mercedes victory celebrations that later unfolded, despite him being airlifted to hospital.

‘It is the whole reaction of the team,’ said Verstappen, speaking before the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Verstappen remains unhappy with rival Hamilton

The Briton won the British Grand Prix in dramatic fashion

Max Verstappen (L) has doubled down on his claims that Lewis Hamilton (R) was disrespectful

Verstappen and Hamilton collided on the opening lap of a thrilling British Grand Prix

Verstappen and Hamilton collided on the opening lap of a thrilling British Grand Prix 

The Red Bull star was sent into the crash barriers at a force of 51G in the race this month

The Red Bull star was sent into the crash barriers at a force of 51G in the race this month 

‘That is not how you celebrate a win, especially a win in the way that they got it. That is what I found disrespectful and it shows how they really are. It comes out in a pressure situation but I wouldn’t want to be seen like that. I would have been upset with myself over a that move and I definitely could not celebrate.’ 

But Hamilton insisted he tried to reach Verstappen in hospital after hearing of his anger – only to be rebuffed.

He said: ‘I did give Max a call after the race to check he was OK and let him know the respect was still there. It doesn’t look as though that has been reciprocated, but that’s OK. 

‘I don’t believe our behaviour was disrespectful. It is one thing knowing and celebrating what happened and it is another thing not knowing and celebrating.

Hamilton went onto win the race and celebrated jubilantly in front of his home supporters

Hamilton went onto win the race and celebrated jubilantly in front of his home supporters

Max Verstappen insists that the celebrations from Hamilton and Mercedes were 'disrespectful'

And Verstappen insists that the celebrations from Hamilton and Mercedes were ‘disrespectful’

‘Obviously, I wasn’t aware that he was in hospital. I saw on the screen that he had got out of the car and I heard he was fine. I wasn’t aware until after – but none of us want to see another driver injured or in harm’s way.’ 

The FIA were on Thursday reconsidering the FIA stewards decision to award Hamilton only a 10-second penalty, which Red Bull have since protested, claiming it was too lenient. Yet there was little sympathy for the challenge among the racing fraternity.

‘The stewards did what they thought was right and the penalty was the hardest they could give,’ said former champion Sebastian Vettel, now with Aston Martin. 

Williams driver George Russell added: ‘It’s a racing incident, there is no right or wrong. The consequences were huge but it’s still difficult to adjudicate.’ 


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