Max Verstappen received a ‘statement of purpose’ from Lewis Hamilton, but the FIA may have to intervene.
During the British Grand Prix, Damon Hill believes Lewis Hamilton conveyed a clear message to Max Verstappen.
Former Formula One driver Damon Hill feels Lewis Hamilton used the British Grand Prix to demonstrate his authority and show Max Verstappen that he’s “not going to back down” in the title race.
On the first lap of the race at Silverstone, Hamilton and Verstappen crashed, with the Dutchman leading from pole position.
As the two approached Turn Nine, Copse Corner, Verstappen put up a strong fight, seizing the outside line through the curve.
When Verstappen’s right rear collided with Hamilton’s front left, the 23-year-old was sent spinning across the gravel and straight into the tyre wall.
Verstappen climbed out of the car, apparently exhausted from the shunt, and was taken to a local hospital for further examinations before being released later that evening with no severe injuries.
Hill, the 1996 world champion, stated on the F1 Nation podcast that the action will have served as a clear warning shot to Hamilton’s main title contender.
“It was a statement of intent,” Hill said. “It was Lewis saying, hey, I’m a street fighter, and if you’re going to be rough with me, you’re going to have to show me what you’ve got, and he’s done that.”
“It had to have created a psychological dent in Max, because it has made him realize that in a wheel-to-wheel combat, Lewis is not going to back down, absolutely not going to back down.
“That has to be written down in the mental notebook.”
After receiving a ten-second time penalty for instigating a collision during his pit stop, Hamilton raced back up the field to win for Mercedes in front of his home crowd, with the crash being a hot topic of conversation in the aftermath.
Hill, however, believes that, despite the punishment, another occurrence like this might occur in the future, and that the FIA may be need to act.
“At which point, Michael Masi, the FIA Race Director, is going to have to step in and say, guys, I know you’re fighting for a world title, and you’d probably take your crash helmets off and have a stand-up fight in the paddock if it came to that, but you can’t be allowed to do this with.”Brinkwire Summary News,” he continued.