Max Verstappen crash verdict given by Daniel Ricciardo as Lewis Hamilton rivalry heats up

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Max Verstappen’s former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has weighed in on the debate surrounding the now notorious crash at Silverstone between Verstappen and championship rival Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen was forced to retire from the race after he and Hamilton collided during the first lap of the British Grand Prix.

Ricciardo attributed the majority of the fault for the crash to Hamilton, arguing that the Englishman had gone into the corner driving too fast. The Australian said Hamilton was “too hot for the given level of grip.”

Ricciardo did however go on to note that he didn’t think that any error was particularly egregious.

He said: “They’ve [Hamilton and Verstappen] been racing hard all year so I’ve put it down generally to a racing incident. I think the main thing was that Max, let’s say, got away safely.

“Obviously for his health and wellbeing it’s great, and also for the sake of the championship.”

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“Obviously for his health and wellbeing it’s great, and also for the sake of the championship.”

The crash has been a source of enormous tension between Red Bull and Mercedes, with the former failing in their attempt to force a review by F1 stewards into the incident and thus give Hamilton a more severe punishment. 

Hamilton won the race despite being given a 10-second penalty for his role in the crash, and resultantly cut Verstappen’s lead in the championship standings to just eight points.

Formula 1 held a video conference on Thursday to assess new evidence presented by Red Bull, which team advisor Helmut Marko had suggested would make the authorities see the incident in a “different light.”

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Stewards saw no reason to alter the original decision. Mercedes were pleased with the outcome, but stated their belief that the call for a review itself was a bad faith gesture by Red Bull intended to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton.”

Both Hamilton and Verstappen held press conferences before the decision had been taken. Verstappen accused Hamilton and the Mercedes team of being disrespectful. The Dutchman remarked that: “One guy is in hospital and the other is waving a flag around like nothing has happened after he pushed a guy into a wall with 51Gs.

“Not only that but the whole reaction of the team besides that. That’s not how you celebrate a win, especially how they got it. It shows how they really are.”

Hamilton in turn rejected the claim, noting that he didn’t know at the time that Verstappen was in hospital:

“I don’t believe our behaviour was disrespectful, but it is one thing knowing and then celebrating what happened and one thing not knowing and celebrating. And I wasn’t aware [that Verstappen was in hospital].”

Attention now turns to the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest this weekend. Hamilton won the event there last year, and is aiming for his ninth win at the Hungaroring in what would be a Formula 1 record for most victories at a single venue.

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