• July 30, 2021

Exclusive: Lewis Hamilton WINS Formula 1 British Grand Prix amid stunning late drama after first-lap crash with Max Verstappen

 Exclusive: Lewis Hamilton WINS Formula 1 British Grand Prix amid stunning late drama after first-lap crash with Max Verstappen


Lewis Hamilton won a sensational British Grand Prix packed with remarkable drama on Sunday.

The home favourite collided with championship rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap, causing the Dutchman to crash out.

Hamilton raised the Union Flag from his car after securing victory

Getty

Hamilton raised the Union Flag from his car after securing victory

Verstappen emerged from his car and was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, while Hamilton continued from second when the race resumed after a red flag pause.

As a result of the collision though, Hamilton was given a 10-second time penalty.

He then had to battle his way back up through the field and overtook Charles Leclerc at the death to seize victory.

The win sees Hamilton cut Verstappen’s championship lead from 33 points down to just 7.

On lap one, Hamilton dived down Verstappen’s inside on the entry to Copse at 180mph, with the Mercedes driver tagging the rear of his rival’s Red Bull.

Verstappen was sent out of control and crashed into the tyre barrier at high speed.

Later on during the race, a Red Bull statement announced: “We can confirm that Max Verstappen walked away from his car and was immediately taken to the Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre.

“Following an assessment by the trackside doctors at Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, Max Verstappen has been taken to a local hospital for further precautionary tests.”

Hamilton’s front left sent Verstappen off the track

F1

Hamilton’s front left sent Verstappen off the track

Verstappen smashed into the tyre barrier at 180mph

F1

Verstappen smashed into the tyre barrier at 180mph

“Is Max okay?” said Hamilton over the radio immediately. “He is out of the car,” Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington replied.

“I was ahead going in there,” said Hamilton. “I was fully inside, it was my line, and he turned in on me.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner disagreed with Hamilton’s opinion of the crash.

He furiously ranted in a radio message to FIA race director, Michael Masi: “In that corner, he was never anywhere near alongside

“Every driver that has driven this circuit knows that you do not stick a wheel on the inside of Copse. That is an enormous accident.

Verstappen emerged from his car

F1

Verstappen emerged from his car

“And it was 100 per cent Max’s corner. As far as I am concerned, the full blame is on Hamilton who should never have been in that position.

“You could have had a massive accident. Thank God he walked away unscathed, so I hope you are going to deal with it appropriately.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff then got in on the action with Masi.

The Austrian said: “Michael I have just sent you an email with the diagram with where the cars should be, did you receive it?”

Masi replied: “Toto, I don’t access my emails during the race deliberately so I can concentrate on the race.”

The Red Bull was lifted away in a sorry state

F1

The Red Bull was lifted away in a sorry state

Wolff said: “Well, maybe you should look at this because there is something in the rules that is coming up.”

Masi then told Wolff to take his concerns up with the stewards.

The race resumed following a delay of 45 minutes with Hamilton given the 10-second time penalty, which he served at his pit stop on lap 27 of 52.

This dropped him to fourth behind Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas and a dozen seconds adrift of Leclerc.

Hamilton passed Leclerc with just two-and-a-half laps to go

AFP

Hamilton passed Leclerc with just two-and-a-half laps to go

Hamilton passed Norris on lap 31 before Bottas was ordered out his way by Mercedes.

The world champion then set about hunting Leclerc with the gap reduced to just 1.5 seconds with four laps to run.

On lap 50 of 52, Hamilton put his Mercedes on the inside of Leclerc’s Ferrari through Copse before backing out of the move, but the Monegasque ran wide and Hamilton assumed the lead to the delight of the partisan crowd.

He crossed the line 3.8 seconds clear of Leclerc to seal his eighth British Grand Prix triumph, with Bottas completing the podium and Norris finishing fourth.





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