Daniel Ricciardo weighs-in on controversial F1 crash debate

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Italian GP winner Daniel Ricciardo (pictured left) celebrating and (pictured right) a crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Italian GP winner Daniel Ricciardo (pictured left) has defended his former teammate Max Verstappen over a crash with Lewis Hamilton (pictured right) during the race. (Getty Images)

Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo has finally given his thoughts on the frightening crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen during his Italian GP victory.

Ricciardo made headlines after winning his first F1 race since the Monaco GP in 2019, but another talking point was the sickening crash between Dutch driver Verstappen and the seven-time world champion Hamilton.

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The Red Bull driver leads the championship by five points, but was heavily criticised for his role in a frightening crash with Hamilton and the debate continues to rage over who was to blame.

The British driver said afterwards that he was lucky to be alive and praised F1's 'halo' safety device after Verstappen's Red Bull slammed into his Mercedes and came within centimetres of the Brit's head.

The British champion was taken to hospital for a check-up after the incident and claimed that it had left him with a headache and sore neck.

Hamilton also hit out at Verstappen for failing to check whether the Mercedes driver was OK after the terrifying incident.

This led to F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart slamming Verstappen's lack of 'maturity' for a championship-winning driver in the aftermath of the Italian GP.

But, a week after the incident, Ricciardo has jumped to the defence of his former teammate.

“I know Max, we were teammates for a few years,” he told Pardon My Take podcast.

“That’s him, he is a competitor he’ll leave it on the track and that’s it. I guess he still maybe was carrying a bit of anger or a little bit of frustration from Silverstone. Maybe that’s why he just said, ‘Stuff this’, and walked away.

“I saw him go over his head but then stopped a bit more forward. I think where Lewis was trying to reverse and get out, maybe Max saw that and thought, ‘Ok Lewis is fine’, but I don’t know.

“If we go through an accident and we know the other driver was injured, I’m one hundred per cent sure we would all try to help, we wouldn’t just turn our backs.”

Daniel Ricciardo defends Max Verstappen's move

Ricciardo then weighed-in on who was at fault for the incident.

Verstappen copped a three-grid penalty after the race.

This means he will start three grid sports back from where he qualifies at the Russian GP on the weekend.

While F1 penalised the championship leader, the Aussie McLaren driver is sure Verstappen attempted a legitimate pass.

“I don’t think what Max did was stupid,” Ricciardo added.

“He saw an opportunity and went for it, but it was obviously not the best.”

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