The controversy surrounding Lewis Hamilton's lap one incident with championship rival Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix has intensified, with the relationship between the two seemingly souring in public.
Hamilton and Verstappen were engaged in a thrilling battle leading up to the fast-paced Copse Corner at Silverstone, which sees cars approaching at nearly 300 k/ph.
Red Bull's Verstappen had most of his car in front of Hamilton as he turned in, but the Mercedes champion had darted to the inside in a bid to complete a daring overtake.
The move didn't come off though, with Hamilton's left front tyre hitting Verstappen's rear left, sending him flying off the track and into the tyre barrier, with the devastating impact registering more than 50g of force.
Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary scans and was later discharged, unhurt.
Debate raged about who was to blame for the crash during the resultant red-flag period as marshals worked to rebuild the damaged barrier that had stopped Verstappen's now wrecked Red Bull.
However there was still a race to be run, with Hamilton, now second behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, handed a 10-second time penalty soon after the race restart.
It wasn't enough to slow the seven-time world champion, who won the eighth British GP of his career to close the championship gap between himself and Verstappen.
However, Hamilton's enthusiastic celebrations after winning did not earn him any respect from a still seething Red Bull outfit - nor did his his post on Twitter after the race.
Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport. I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I’m glad to hear he is ok. I will always race hard but always fairly. My team showed grit and perseverance out there. It’s a dream to win in front of my home crowd💜🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/3S16uFYmDZ
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 18, 2021
“Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport," he wrote.
“I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I’m glad to hear he is ok.
“I will always race hard but always fairly. My team showed grit and perseverance out there. It’s a dream to win in front of my home crowd.”
Responses to the tweet were divided, with some suggesting Hamilton perhaps should have used the tweet to apologise for the crash - even if he didn't believe he was entirely to blame.
"You are a legend Lewis. But it would have suited you better to acknowledge you were wrong there. A tiny “I’m sorry” would have done the job," one comment read.
Red Bull left fuming after horrifying Max Verstappen crash
Hamilton wasn't the only one to generate a degree of controversy on Twitter, with Verstappen's own post after the race earning a similarly divided response from fans.
Verstappen wrote that he found Hamilton's celebrations with the crowd 'disrespectful' and 'unsportsmanlike' after the race.
However, many in the replies to his tweet pointed out his own history over aggressive driving, suggesting he might be better off taking the high road.
Red Bull however, remained undeterred.
Team boss Christian Horner was vocal in his anger over the accident, saying every grand prix driver knew the serious risks of overtaking at that particular corner.
"Every grand prix driver knows that a move at that corner - one of the fastest in Formula One - is a massive, massive risk," he said.
"You don't put a wheel up the inside without there being huge consequences. We are just lucky today that there wasn't someone seriously hurt...
"It is an amateur's mistake and a desperate mistake.
"Max is battered and bruised. It is the biggest accident of his career."
Responding to the criticism, Hamilton, who reduced his championship deficit from 33 points to eight, said: "I don't really have anything to say to Christian. The win doesn't feel hollow.
"I don't think I am in a position to have to apologise for anything. We are out there racing.
"I heard that Max is in hospital and that definitely concerns me. None of us here ever want to see a driver injured.
"That is never my intention and so I really hope he is OK, and I will hit him up after this to check he's OK."
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