Max Verstappen says he holds ‘no hard feelings’ with Lewis Hamilton over last year’s British Grand Prix crash as they return to Silverstone… after the Dutchman previously slammed Mercedes for being ‘disrespectful’ with their post-race celebrations

max and lewis

 

.Max Verstappen returns to the scene of his heavy crash at last year’s British GP
.He collided with Lewis Hamilton resulting in a 51G crash while battling together
.The Dutchman accused Mercedes of being ‘disrespectful’ after the crash
.Verstappen though doesn’t have any ill-feeling towards the Brit a year on

Max Verstappen says there are ‘no hard feelings’ with Lewis Hamilton over their crash at last year’s British Grand Prix.  The pair return to Silverstone a year on from their dramatic collision at Copse corner, which saw the Dutchman hit the tyre wall at 180mph. Verstappen accused Mercedes of being ‘disrespectful’ in the aftermath of their crash, but a year on there is no lingering ill-feeling towards Hamilton or his team.

Speaking to GP Racing, as per Autosport, the 2021 drivers’ champion said ahead of this weekend’s race: ‘Of course, the crash wasn’t nice, but I love the track. ‘I love going there. It’s [a] really good atmosphere with Formula 1, and we’re going really quick around there.  ‘So I don’t have any hard feelings. And I also think very easily I can put these things aside. Of course, it wasn’t nice what happened, but at the end of the day, you deal with it.

‘It wasn’t a nice impact for me personally, but we go out there again and try to win of course.’ The 24-year-old has a lot to be positive about as he returns to the scene of the crash, with the Dutchman leading the drivers’ championship by 46 points to team-mate Sergio Perez.  Hamilton, who narrowly missed out on the championship to Verstappen after last season’s dramatic title finale, is nowhere near contention as it stands – 98 points off the Red Bull driver.

Their intense rivalry which defined the 2021 season has been absent this season, with the Brit unable to compete with Verstappen who is chasing his second drivers’ championship.  The two drivers collided on the opening lap of last year’s British Grand Prix, resulting in a 51G impact for Verstappen at the exit of the high-speed right-hander.

Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary checks as a result of the accident, while Hamilton recovered from a 10-second penalty after he was found to be responsible of the crash, to win the race after passing the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.  The Mercedes team celebrated the win, which saw a huge swing in the championship at the time, as Hamilton closed a 33-point deficit down to just eight.  Appearing in front of media at the following race in Hungary, Verstappen revealed Hamilton phoned him after the race, and he found Mercedes’ enthused reaction to their win as ‘disrespectful’.

He told reporters: ‘He did call me. I don’t need to go into details about that, but we did have a chat.  ‘[It is] disrespectful if one guy is in the hospital and the other one is waving the flag around like nothing has happened while you push the guy into the wall with 51G,’ said Verstappen in Thursday’s press conference in Budapest.  ‘Not only that, just the whole reaction of the team besides that. That’s not how you celebrate a win, especially a win how they got it.

‘That’s what I found really disrespectful and in a way it shows how they really are, it comes out after a pressure situation. But I wouldn’t want to be seen like that.’  Hamilton said after the race he was not aware that Verstappen had been taken to hospital for checks until he was informed in the post-race TV interviews.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also said the team had been told by Red Bull that Verstappen was okay before celebrating their victory.  The pair crashed again at that year’s Italian Grand Prix, which saw both drivers retire from the race.  There was also minor contact in Saudi Arabia when Verstappen was given a 10-second penalty for brake-checking Hamilton who went on to win the race.

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