Hamilton and Verstappen have their say on Italian Grand Prix crash

The pair clashed again at Monza with both eliminated

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 4:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 4:22 pm
Max Verstappen ended up on top of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes at the Italian Grand Prix

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hinted Max Verstappen performed a "tactical foul" in the crash between the Dutchman and Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.

The pair collided at the first chicane in Monza, with Verstappen's Red Bull Racing car landing on Hamilton's head as the pair ended in the gravel.

All parties spoke after the race and they all felt it should go down as a racing incident - they will be facing the stewards later this evening - but Wolff said he felt Verstappen may have performed a 'tactical foul.'

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Seconds before the incident at Turn 2

"The stewards will define who is predominantly to blame," he said. "I would say it's a tactical foul, he knew that if Lewis stayed ahead it would be the race win.

"He went over the sausage curb, but we'll let the stewards decide.

"I don't want to be a punter like some of my other colleagues.

"At that stage, max was on the inside, went into the sausage curb and went into him.

"This is going to continue - we had a high speed crash at Silverstone, and then a car land on another one today. The wheel was on Lewis' head.

"I think it's racing."

The pair also clipped wheels on the first lap when Hamilton tried a similar move but took to the run off to avoid a collision.

Hamilton said: "I was racing as hard as I could, I got past Lando and pitted, lost about a second. I came out, saw the McLaren come past and then max, I left him space into Turn 2 but then he was on top of me.

"It's exactly the same as what happened on the first lap, I gave way. That's racing. He didn't want to give way today. He knew what was going to happen - he'd go over the curbs and hit me."

Verstappen also felt the crash should go down as a racing incident.

"We realise it was going to be close, he came out of the pits and he realised I was going for it," he explained. "He squeezed me. I wanted to work with him, we're all professional, but he didn't leave me room. He kept pushing me wide and I wouldn't have anywhere to go."

Explaining the difference between the two collisions, Verstappen added: "I don't think you can judge the incidents the same. I was alongside him.

"You need two people to work with each other. Unfortunately we touched. No-one likes to see what happened today. It's very unfortunate."

Christian Horner, Red Bull principal, said Verstappen's slow pit stop meant he was out of position and the crash was just racing.

He said: "We shouldn't have been in that position. He had enough space around the outside but Lewis closed in on him in Turn 2. Max was alongside and then the incident.

"You can argue it from both sides. If you take the middle ground, it's a racing incident. Max could have nailed to the left, Lewis could have given him more space.

"It's very frustrating to have this in the race but thank goodness we had the halo because that landed on Lewis' head."