September 17, 2021

Max Verstappen renews criticism of Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes British GP celebrations after collision

July 29, 2021

Max Verstappen has renewed his attack on Lewis Hamilton's and Mercedes' victory celebrations in the aftermath of the British GP.

Appearing in front of the F1 media at the Hungarian GP for the first time since the accident at Silverstone 11 days ago, Verstappen said he was feeling "110" per cent fit for his return to action this weekend.

He also revealed Hamilton had phoned him after the race.

"He did call me," said Verstappen. "I don't need to go into details about that, but we did have a chat."

However, he renewed his accusation that the post-race celebrations of Red Bull's rivals had been disrespectful while he was receiving precautionary check-ups in hospital.

"[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 received feedback from Red Bull and the FIA that Verstappen was OK before celebrating their victory.

When Verstappen's latest comments were put to him on Thursday, Hamilton reiterated his belief that Mercedes had done nothing wrong at their home event.

"I don't believe our behaviour was disrespectful," said the seven-time world champion.

"As I said, it's one thing knowing and then celebrating what happened, and it's one thing not knowing and celebrating.

"As I told you, I wasn't aware - but it's my home Grand Prix and we worked incredibly hard for god knows how long to get a result like that.

"And what a monumental moment it was for us to experience the whole home crowd being there for the first time since last year was missed. Emotions were running high, it wasn't like an intentional celebration, it was just the joy of seeing so many people and so many people celebrating being together.

"That's the natural emotion, I'm not going to hide my emotions. It was an amazing feeling to see so many people."

On his conversation with Verstappen, Hamilton added: "I did give Max a call after the race to just check he feels ok and let him know that the respect is still there. But obviously it's perhaps not reciprocated, but that's ok."

Red Bull and Mercedes faced the British GP stewards again on Thursday as the former attempted to challenge the original verdict on the incident. But the request for a review was subsequently rejected.

Verstappen said that in his view the "penalty was not severe enough for what he caused".

Hamilton was found to have been "predominantly" at fault for causing the collision and punished with a 10-second penalty, which he served at his pit stop. However, despite dropping to fourth place, he fought back to win the race and cut Verstappen's title lead from 33 to eight points.

Verstappen on the incident and accident

The Dutch driver felt the collision had been the result of misjudgement rather than malice from his Mercedes rival.

"The outcome I think he didn't expect but I think he definitely misjudged the speed of entering in such a tight angle into that corner, and that's why he understeered wide," said Verstappen of the battle into the near-200mph Copse corner.

"Of course I don't think he meant to make me crash in such a fashion, but that's not for me to answer, But nevertheless I didn't score any points which is the worst [thing] about all of it."

Meanwhile, Hamilton, who said he would not change any aspect of his driving in the incident, pointed to his experience and success as evidence of his knowhow in wheel-to-wheel combat.

"I've been racing a long, long time and I have faced stewards, I've faced right and wrong decisions my entire life, I've experienced abuse, there's nothing you can throw at me I have not experienced before, and we deal with it," he told Sky F1.

"I'm going to continue to race the way that I race and continue to fight as I have. It's got me to this point with the seven [titles], not too bad."

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