Russell shuts down claims that Hamilton is a 'dirty driver'

George Russell dismisses claims Lewis Hamilton is a ‘dirty driver’ after his controversial collision with Max Verstappen at Silverstone as the Williams ace insists there was no foul play and it was just a ‘racing incident’

  • Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided at the British Grand Prix 
  • Verstappen was sent into the wall while Hamilton went on to win his home race 
  • Red Bull chief Christian Horner insisted the Briton was ‘desperate’ and ‘dirty’ 
  • George Russell has come to the defence of Hamilton ahead of the next race 
  • Hamilton and Verstappen’s rivalry continues this weekend at the Hungarian GP

George Russell rubbished claims Lewis Hamilton is a ‘dirty’ driver and insisted there was no foul play on behalf of the Mercedes star in his Silverstone crash with Max Verstappen.

Verstappen was sent cannoning into the tyre wall at Copse corner at 180mph on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix earlier this month before later being taken to Coventry hospital for further examinations.

Hamilton, who was labelled ‘desperate’ and ‘dirty’ by Red Bull chief Christian Horner, was adjudged to have been ‘predominantly’ at fault and was handed a 10-second time penalty in the race – something which proved redundant when he passed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to take victory with two laps to go in Northamptonshire.

George Russell has hit out at claims that fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton is a ‘dirty driver’

Hamilton was involved in a controversial collision with Max Verstappen at the British GP 

The Mercedes driver went on to win the British Grand Prix while Verstappen retired

For Russell, who is attempting to hit all the right notes in a bid to win Mercedes’ favour to be Hamilton’s team-mate in 2022, the seven-time world champion is one of the ‘fairest’ racers on the track and should not be vilified for the Copse collision.

‘Lewis is one of the cleanest and fairest racers out there, always, and there was nothing malicious in the attempt because there was a clear opportunity,’ the Williams driver said.

‘In my view, that was absolutely a racing incident, and there are no sort of rules in that aspect, I’d say, that can say who is right or who is wrong, because it’s just one of those things. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, it’s just a racing incident.

‘Obviously the consequences were huge and I’m very glad to see Max was relatively fine following the crash. But these racing incidents are a difficult one to adjudicate on.

‘I don’t think there needs to be anything any clearer in that specific scenario, because it was, for me, just purely a racing incident.’

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, a former team-mate of Verstappen’s at Red Bull, agreed with Russell in that there was nothing ‘out of line’ in the collision.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner said that Hamilton’s move was ‘desperate’ and ‘dirty’

Verstappen also labelled Hamilton ‘disrespectful’ after the race and his 180mph crash

‘I didn’t really see anything out of line with the incident itself,’ Ricciardo said. ‘Obviously the consequence was really the big talking point.’

Red Bull lodged an ‘appeal to review’ the 10-second penalty sanction levelled at Hamilton and they are now required to present fresh evidence in a bid to relaunch an FIA investigation.

The FIA’s International Sporting Code allows a right to review if ‘a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned’.

But if Red Bull are unable to meet the threshold the request for a harsher penalty will be rejected. Should stewards accept the new material and determine it meets the criteria, the investigation into Hamilton’s collision with Verstappen will be reopened.

The crash has spiced up what was already proving to be an exciting fight for this year’s title

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