Hamilton takes stunning win after crash with Max Verstappen
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Max Verstappen goes into Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix behind Hamilton after a dominant display in qualifying from the Mercedes man, but the Dutchman has at least avoided a penalty for a controversial move in last week’s Sao Paolo Grand Prix. Verstappen forced Hamilton wide and off the track at turn four, but the FIA dismissed Mercedes’ appeal this week. McLaren star Lando Norris has called into question the rules about wheel-to-wheel racing following the decision, and felt a penalty he received while racing Sergio Perez this season was harsh. He said: “What types of surfaces are on the outside of the circuit, whether that’s gravel or tarmac or whatever, can also have an effect. Which I don’t think is maybe fair.
“I think if you know there is gravel on the outside, and you know if you’re not completely alongside, which Perez wasn’t, then he’s put himself in that very risky position.”
Verstappen’s rivalry with Hamilton has intensified this season, as seen when the Red Bull driver was asked about his contest with the Mercedes man.
It was ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix when a journalist asked about an incident at Silverstone, when Hamilton and Verstappen collided leaving the Dutch driver in the wall and out of the race.
The reporter said: “There’s been a lot of talk about what happened on the opening lap at Silverstone. If you to end up wheel to wheel after the start tomorrow…”
Before he could finish, Verstappen responded furiously: “Can we just already stop about this? Because it’s… we had so many f***** questions about this, it’s just ridiculous.
“Honestly. Honestly, the whole Thursday we’ve been answering this stupid s*** all the time. So can we just stop about it, please?
“We are racers, we will race, and of course we’re going to race hard but fair. So we just keep pushing each other.”
The Hungarian Grand Prix was the next race on the calendar after the collision at Silverstone, and fans in Budapest booed Hamilton during his pole position television interview.
Verstappen said this was wrong. He said: “It’s not correct of course but at the end of the day, I think we are drivers and you shouldn’t get disturbed by these kinds of things.
“You know you should anyway just focus on what you have to do and that’s deliver in the car.
“Luckily, of course, we wear helmets actually when you’re driving – so where it matters you don’t hear anything. That’s maybe a bit different to other sports.”
Verstappen and Hamilton have had numerous incidents this season while competing.
At Imola, the second race of the season, Verstappen forced Hamilton onto the curb at the first chicane on lap one, propelling himself into the lead.
At Monza, Verstappen and Hamilton went into turns one and two side by side. The Red Bull car bounced off the curb and into the air before landing on Hamilton’s Mercedes in a terrifying incident.
Following the crash, Verstappen got out of his car and walked straight off track, muttering: “That’s what happens when you don’t leave enough space.”
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Hamilton said after the race: “I feel very, very fortunate today. Thank God for the halo.
“That ultimately saved me. And saved my neck. I don’t think I have ever been hit on the head by a car before and it is quite a shock for me.
“If you see the image, my head is quite far forward.
“I have been racing for a long, long time and I am so so grateful I am still here and feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today.”
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