Lewis Hamilton ‘sore but okay’ after rival’s car landed on his head in Grand Prix smash
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 12/09/2021
Lewis Hamilton has described the moment rival Max Verstappen’s car “landed” on his head in a mid-race collision that saw the pair crash out of the Italian Grand Prix.
Speaking after the dramatic impact, Britain’s seven-time world champion said he was “a bit sore” but otherwise okay.
He appeared to have been saved from serious injury by the protective halo that sits above the car’s cockpit to safeguard the driver.
Daniel Ricciardo took advantage of the accident to claim McLaren’s first victory since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
But the win will be most remembered for Hamilton’s collision with Verstappen.
After Hamilton left the pit-lane on lap 26, Verstappen drew alongside his championship rival at the Variante del Rettifilo in Monza.
The Red Bull driver tried to come up the inside on a turn as Lewis defended his position.
As the two made contact, Verstappen’s car catapulted on to the top of the Mercedes as both slid into the gravel.
The rear of the Dutchman’s airborne machine ran over the top of Hamilton’s helmet, with the halo device absorbing the impact.
A furious Verstappen said: “That is what happens when you don’t leave any room.”
He jumped out of the cockpit and stormed away, without checking on Hamilton’s condition.
One lap later, Hamilton eventually emerged from his car, appearing to be unharmed.
The two men walked back to the paddock with the stewards now investigating the clash – their second in five races following the opening-lap crash at July’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton told Sky Sports after the race: “I’m a little bit stiff and a bit sore on my neck. It [Verstappen’s car] landed on my head – but I’ll be okay.
“I made sure I left a car’s width on the outside for him. I went into turn one and I was ahead and was ahead going into turn two, then all of a sudden he was on top of me.
“It’s exactly the same scenario that happened in turn four [on the first lap] where I went round the outside – I was in exactly the same position, but I gave way. That’s racing.
“He didn’t want to give way today. He knew when he was going into [turn] two what was going to happen. He knew he was going over the kerb but he still did it. I don’t really know what to say.”
Asked whether he would discuss the incident with his title rival, Hamilton added: “I’m sure we’ll talk when we get to the stewards.”
Verstappen confirmed he was unhurt after the incident and said: “We realised it was going to be close into turn one so he cut across after the white line and I went around the outside.
“He realised I was going for it so he kept on squeezing me. I wanted to work with him, because I want to race.
“These things happen. Of course it was not nice at the time but I think we’re all professional enough to keep on racing.”
Verstappen was later handed a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Russia after he was judged “predominantly to blame for the incident”.
He was also hit with two penalty points on his licence.
© Sky News 2020