Red Bull take aim at Lewis Hamilton in new dig over Max Verstappen crash ahead of Hungary
Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has again lashed out at Lewis Hamilton for his role in a crash which put Max Verstappen out of the British Grand Prix, pointing out the fact Verstappen has no penalty points on his licence while Hamilton has two. Horner was extremely vocal during and after the race, demanding that the Briton should receive a harsher punishment after he went on to claim maximum points in dramatic fashion.
Hamilton made an audacious move at Copse corner after a ferocious opening exchange between the title challengers.
After diving up the inside, the pair came wheel-to-wheel and Verstappen was sent flying into the tyre wall at high speed.
Naturally, Hamilton protested his innocence in claiming that the pair were side-by-side, but those in the Red Bull camp thought otherwise.
The 10-second penalty handed to Hamilton caused him to temporarily drop down to fifth place, before he staged a dramatic comeback to overtake Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the closing stages and claim a famous victory.
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And Horner has taken a new dig at Hamilton as he said in his Red Bull column: “I felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified.
“You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.
“The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport.
“Both drivers are of course uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience.
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“The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.”
Tensions understandably ran high in the Red Bull camp after the race, given their leads in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships were cut dramatically.
Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Perez, also finished outside of the points after starting the race in the pits.
Horner and team advisor Helmut Marko were both livid, claiming that Hamilton should have been dealt a far harsher punishment for a crash which ultimately sent Verstappen to hospital.
The 23-year-old took to Twitter that night to claim that Hamilton had made a ‘dangerous move’, and that his celebrations were ‘disrespectful’.
One thing is clear, although the dust has now settled, tensions certainly have not.
The rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull, as well as Hamilton and Verstappen, is truly in full flow as the pair prepare to do battle all over again in Hungary next weekend.
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