Hamilton: Verstappen knew what would happen ahead of Monza crash

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Hamilton and Verstappen collided while battling for a net third position at the first chicane midway through the race at Monza, forcing them both to retire.

Hamilton exited the pits and tried to defend his position from Verstappen, taking the inside line into the first corner.

This left Verstappen looking to get the inside line for Turn 2, only for him to run over the kerbs at the corner and continue directly into Hamilton’s car.

Verstappen’s Red Bull was left on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, with one of the Red Bull’s wheels even making contact with Hamilton’s helmet in the crash, albeit mainly buffeted by the halo.

Although Verstappen blamed Hamilton for squeezing him, the FIA stewards assessed that the Dutchman was “predominantly” to blame and handed him a three-place grid drop for the Russian Grand Prix, as well as two penalty points on his license.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 before the verdict was announced, Hamilton said: “I was racing as hard as I could, finally got past Lando [Norris].

“I was in the lead, or time wise, it told me I was in the lead, so they pitted me. Pitstop was obviously slow, lost a couple of seconds, I think a second and a bit, whatever it is.

“[I] came out, I saw that Daniel [Ricciardo] came past, Max was coming, I made sure I left a car’s width on the outside for him.

“I went into Turn 1, I was ahead, and I was ahead going into Turn 2. Then all of a sudden, he was on top of me.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, walks away after crashing out with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, walks away after crashing out with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

It marked the second moment of contact between Hamilton and Verstappen in the race after the pair had gone wheel-to-wheel in a similar incident at the Roggia chicane on the opening lap.

In that move, Hamilton pulled out at the last moment and took to the kerbs, causing him to lose a place to Norris after passing the McLaren earlier on.

Hamilton said Verstappen was in “exactly the same scenario” in the crash as he was on the opening lap.

“I was in exactly the same position, but I gave way, and that’s racing,” Hamilton said.

“He didn’t want to give way today. He knew that when he was going into [Turn] 2 what was going to happen. He knew he was going over the kerbs. But he still did it.

“We’ll speak to the stewards and see. But I don’t really know what else to say.”

Hamilton added that he was “a bit sore in my neck” because of the wheel that landed on his head, but that he will “be OK”.

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