February 28, 2024

2021 All Over Again: Verstappen and Hamilton Crash At Brazil GP

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In a callback to last year’s fender-benders, F1 champions Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have traded paint in Brazil during one of their most dramatic clashes yet.

2021 was exceedingly brutal between F1 world champions Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. With multiple high-stakes collisions determining the fate of the championship, many thought that 2022 would follow suit with even more fender-benders.  

Well, we’ve finally seen the pair come to blows at the Brazilian Grand Prix in dramatic fashion — here’s how it went down. 

Hamilton And Max’s Lap 7 Collision 

Like many other 2022 Season bumps, the incident between Hamilton and Verstappen followed a Safety Car restart, brought in by an early collision between McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and HAAS’ Kevin Magnussen. With race-win-destined George Russell in the lead, Hamilton and Verstappen found themselves in a familiar position — neck-by-neck, aiming to outmaneuver each other while cornering. Soon enough, disaster struck: 

Navigating through the corners 1 and 2 AKA the ‘Senna Esses’, Verstappen charged through while Hamilton took the outside and ran wide. The resultant collision sent forth a spray of carbon fibre onto the track — while Lando Norris sent Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc into the barriers as well around the hectic early turns. All four cars made it back on track, but after investigations, the race officials sentenced Verstappen and Norris to five second penalties, much to Mercedes’ delight — who went on to win the race one-two with George Russell picking up a historic first race win. 

Falling to P17 and eventually disobeying team orders, Verstappen ended up drawing a lot of attention despite a weak P6 finish, saying: “To be honest, I went around the outside, and I immediately felt he was not going to leave space. I just went for it, he didn’t leave me space, so I knew we were going to get together.

It cost him the race win, for me it gave me five seconds. It wouldn’t have mattered anything for my race, because we were just way too slow. But it’s just a shame, I thought we could race quite well together, but clearly the intention was not there to race.”

The Dutchman went on to deny his position to teammate Sergio Perez, who is currently locked in a struggle for the championship runner-up place with Leclerc — sparking controversy among fans. 

“I think it’s more important as a team now that we finally sat together, all together, and we really put everything on the table, and we move forward. We go to Abu Dhabi, of course, we want to win the race, but also if there’s a chance to help Checo I will, but that’s why it was important we had this meeting now.” 

Meanwhile, Hamilton — who snatched a career-defining last-place win during the 2021 Sao Paulo GP — had a great day at the office, coming in second behind his talented young co-driver while leaving Verstappen languishing in P6.

“What can I say? You know how it is with Max,” Hamilton quipped coolly after the race. “I’m not concerned, don’t have any concerns. 

“I think it’s natural when you have the success and the numbers on your chest, that you become a bit of a target. But it’s okay, it’s nothing that I’ve not dealt with before.”

Fans, however, were left fuming at the incident. Many see Verstappen’s aggression during the crash and against team orders to be in bad taste, especially since, as champion, the man has nothing to lose by ‘sabotaging’ other drivers — especially Hamilton, who he has a long-standing rivalry with:

https://twitter.com/10harg/status/1591860081490276353?s=20&t=0U27yIf5Fvyler5sSb90Ng

Hamilton and Verstappen will return for a historic race between the pair, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, on the 20th of November.

Lead Image: Formula 1, FIA 

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