Verstappen handed grid penalty for causing Hamilton collision

Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Verstappen handed grid penalty for causing Hamilton collision

Formula 1

Verstappen handed grid penalty for causing Hamilton collision

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Max Verstappen has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the next Formula 1 race in Russia for causing a collision with Lewis Hamilton in the Italian Grand Prix.

The two title rivals came together after Hamilton emerged from a pit stop on the inside of Turn 1, with Verstappen attempting to overtake around the outside. Hamilton held the Red Bull off but Verstappen tried to remain on the inside for the second part of the chicane, being launched off the apex curb and landing on top of the Mercedes as both cars were taken out of the race.

The stewards decided the Verstappen should have aborted his attempt to overtake earlier and was predominantly at fault for the collision, resulting in a grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix.

“At the 50m board before Turn 1, Car 44 (Hamilton) was significantly ahead of Car 33 (Verstappen),” the stewards decision read. “Car 33 braked late and started to move alongside Car 44, although at no point in the sequence does Car 33 get any further forward than just behind the front wheel of Car 44.

“During the hearing the driver of Car 33 asserted that the cause of the incident was the driver of Car 44 opening the steering after Turn 1 and ‘squeezing’ him to the apex of Turn 2. The driver of Car 44 asserted that the driver of Car 33 attempted to pass very late and should have given up the corner either by backing off sooner, or by turning left behind the curb.

“The Stewards observed on CCTV footage that the driver of Car 44 was driving an avoiding line, although his position caused Car 33 to go onto the curb. But further, the Stewards observed that Car 33 was not at all alongside Car 44 until significantly into the entry into Turn 1. In the opinion of the Stewards, this maneuver was attempted too late for the driver of Car 33 to have ‘the right to racing room.’

“While Car 44 could have steered further from the curb to avoid the incident, the Stewards determined that his position was reasonable and therefore find that the driver of Car 33 was predominantly to blame for the incident.

“In coming to the penalty the Stewards emphasize that they have only considered the incident itself and not the consequences thereof.”

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