British GP red-flagged after huge Hamilton and Verstappen clash

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British GP red-flagged after huge Hamilton and Verstappen clash

Formula 1

British GP red-flagged after huge Hamilton and Verstappen clash

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The British Grand Prix has been red-flagged after a collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap.

Verstappen started from pole position and was defending strongly against Hamilton throughout the first half of the lap, with the pair coming perilously close to contact on two occasions. Then on the run to Copse, Hamilton sold Verstappen a dummy to try and get down the inside into the high-speed right-hander, but as Verstappen tried to hold on around the outside Hamilton’s left front tapped the right rear of the Red Bull and sent the championship leader flying into the barrier.

The impact was registered at 51G and the race was quickly red-flagged. Verstappen took a while to get out of the car, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner saying he was “massively winded” but OK as he waved to the crowd and walked into the back of an ambulance.

Horner also heavily blamed Hamilton for the incident, accusing the Briton of “dirty driving” trying to pass Verstappen where he did.

“I think it was a desperate move, he failed to make the move at the first part of the lap but you don’t do that…” Horner told Channel 4. “Copse is one of the fastest corners in the world — you don’t stick a wheel up the inside, that’s just dirty driving.

“Thank God we haven’t had a driver who is seriously injured or worse today.”

The incident is under investigation, with representatives from both Mercedes and Red Bull regularly sending radio messages to FIA race director Michael Masi stating their cases.

UPDATE: Hamilton has been issued a 10-second penalty for the contact, which will be served at his pit stop.

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