Lewis Hamilton says he will send Max Verstappen a message but feels he has nothing to apologize for after their collision in the British Grand Prix.
Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary checks following a 51G impact after the pair touched at Copse, with Hamilton receiving a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision. With Red Bull team principal Christian Horner extremely angry with the collision and despite the fact he was penalized, Hamilton says he doesn’t feel he needs to apologize for the clash.
“I’ve not really seen the footage,” Hamilton said. “I saw a quick clip but will naturally go back and have time to reflect on it. I don’t think I’m in the position to have to apologize for anything — we’re out there racing. I heard Max is in hospital and that definitely concerns me. None of us ever want any of us to ever get injured; that’s never my intention, so I really hope he’s OK. I’ll hit him up after this just to check he’s OK, and we live to fight another day.
“There’ll be a lot of tough races coming up and we have to learn to strike a decent balance. I don’t agree with the stewards but I take my penalty on the chin and get on with my job. I’m not gonna whine about it. Everyone’s gonna have a different opinion — I don’t really care what people think. I do what I do and am really grateful for today.”
Hamilton says Verstappen was too aggressive trying to close the door on him into the corner, and pointed to past battles at Imola and Spain where he has yielded to avoid contact as proof he tempers his own level when fighting with the Dutchman.
“I think it’s a normal battle. I think I’ve generally… when I was younger I was probably as aggressive — maybe not as aggressive as Max is, but pretty aggressive as a youngster. I’m a lot older now and know it’s a marathon not a sprint, so I have a better view of how I approach my racing.
“But we’re in a battle and I think this year he has been very aggressive and most times I’ve had to concede and avoid incident with him and live to fight on later in the race. As you saw yesterday (in the Sprint) once he’s out in the clear they’re too fast, so when an opportunity comes I’ve got to take it — that’s what we’re out here doing, racing.
“I got a great exit out of (Turn) 7 and was really happy with the dummy, I could go to the left then the inside and get up that gap, fortunately he wasn’t able to close it and unfortunately the aggression stays from his side and we collided. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a racing incident; these things happen.”
Hamilton also refuted Horner’s comments that it’s a hollow victory, but says he understands why the Red Bull boss would be so frustrated.
“I don’t really have anything to say to Christian. It doesn’t feel hollow. There’s 2000 people that work incredibly hard in my team — it’s not just about me, naturally. Of course this is not the way I want anything to happen in the race. I think it’s important for all of us to take a step back. I’m sure emotions are running high there, I know what it is like to lose points within a team and be in that position, so I don’t feel any way about it.”