F1 tensions rise amid 'new evidence' in British GP controversy

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are pictured side by side in the lead-up to the F1 British GP.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's collision at the British Grand Prix has enflamed tensions between fierce F1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, with neither backing down from arguments over who was to blame. Pictures: Getty Images

Red Bull could be set to continue the bitter fallout to the massive accident involving Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton and their championship leader, Max Verstappen.

Verstappen was sent flying into the barriers after he and Hamilton collided at one of the fastest corners of the Silverstone circuit on the first lap of last weekend's British Grand Prix.

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Hamilton was handed a 10 second penalty for his trouble but it wasn't enough to prevent him from winning the race and slicing through Verstappen's championship lead.

The two teams, already fierce rivals, were both adamant their driver was not to blame for the shocking crash, which saw Verstappen spear into the barriers at more than 250 kilometres per hour.

The two drivers have had a series of aggressive back and forth battles on the opening laps of several races this season, but none ended in potential disaster like the British GP.

The crash, combined with Hamilton's exuberant celebration with his home crowd after the race, led Verstappen to call him out for being 'unsportsmanlike' and 'disrespectful' on social media as he was getting precautionary scans in hospital after his huge shunt.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was similarly bitter after the race - and F1 legend Martin Brundle believes the team aren't finished with their protests over the incident.

Already frustrated by what they believed was an insufficient penalty, Brundle said in his weekly F1 column for Sky Sport that Red Bull believe they have evidence Hamilton had entered the high-speed Copse corner faster on lap one than at any other point in the race.

"I am told by Red Bull there is data to prove Lewis was significantly faster into Copse than at any other time and he would not have made the corner without running wide, and inevitably contacting Max," Brundle wrote.

"Presumably, that will be made publicly available and if Red Bull feel they have 'new evidence' they may well make an appeal to the FIA as to their perceived degree of fault and leniency regarding Hamilton."

Tensions flare between Red Bull and Mercedes after British GP

Hamilton said he has nothing to apologise for after Horner accused him of putting Verstappen's life in jeopardy after their high-speed incident at the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton produced an astonishing comeback by passing Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc with only two and a half laps remaining to win his home race for an eighth time on a sizzling afternoon at Silverstone in front of 140,000 spectators.

Asked if Hamilton's move on Verstappen at Copse put his star man's life in danger, furious Red Bull boss Horner replied: "Of course. His actions have left in jeopardy another driver's safety and for me that is unacceptable.

"Every grand prix driver knows that a move at that corner - one of the fastest in Formula One - is a massive, massive risk.

Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner was furious with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after his lap one incident with Max Verstappen. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner was furious with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after his lap one incident with Max Verstappen. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

"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."

With AAP

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