Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton got off lightly for a “dangerous move” and called his race-winning celebrations disrespectful after watching the end of the British Grand Prix from hospital.
Hamilton was given a 10-second time penalty for his failed attempt to overtake Verstappen into Copse on the opening lap, with the Red Bull driver having a huge crash after contact. With the impact registering 51G, Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, where he posted a tweet criticizing Hamilton’s move and celebrations.
“Glad I’m OK,” Verstappen posted. “Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior but we move on.”
For Hamilton’s part, he claimed to be unaware that Verstappen had been taken to hospital until after the podium ceremony, when he was informed by an interviewer in the TV pen.
Verstappen’s comments came with his team principal Christian Horner particularly angry about the outcome of the incident.
“He has been through all the precautionary scans and he retained consciousness at all times,” Horner said. “He is battered, he is bruised, it is the biggest accident of his career, a 51G incident. I’m just grateful that it is not worse than that, that he was able to get out of the car and walk away as it was an enormous accident.
“Putting a fellow driver in hospital, writing off the car, and receiving a minimal penalty and winning the grand prix doesn’t feel like much of a penalty. I think it just felt like a desperate move from Lewis — he lost the start, go down the straight, wheel banging with Max down there, then to stick a wheel up the inside of Copse corner, one of the fastest corners in the championship, pretty much flat-out, 180mph, there’s only ever going to be one consequence like that.
“It’s just disappointing from a seven-time world champion that he makes such a desperate move and puts a fellow driver in hospital.”