FIA’s official ruling on Hamilton, Verstappen crash

Date published: July 18 2021 - Henry Valantine

Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen crash

The race stewards have said they adjudged Lewis Hamilton to have not been fully alongside Max Verstappen before their high-speed collision, which led to his penalty.

The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers were wheel-to-wheel from the start at the British Grand Prix, fighting for position throughout the first part of the lap, before Hamilton gained a slipstream on the Dutchman.

With that extra speed, the seven-time World Champion put his car on the inside of the Red Bull at the fast right-hander of Copse, but Verstappen’s right-rear tyre clipped Hamilton’s left-front and he was sent flying into the barriers – crashing with a monumental force of 51G.

While the World Championship leader was taken to hospital for further checks, the two teams disagreed on who was to blame, but the FIA felt Hamilton was at fault.

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A statement from the FIA read: “The Stewards reviewed video and telemetry evidence. Cars 33 [Verstappen] and 44 [Hamilton] entered turn 9 with Car 33 in the lead and Car 44 slightly behind and on the inside.

“Car 44 was on a line that did not reach the apex of the corner, with room available to the inside. When Car 33 turned into the corner, Car 44 did not avoid contact and the left front of Car 44 contacted the right rear of Car 33. Car 44 is judged predominantly at fault.”

Dr Ian Roberts, F1’s medical rescue co-ordinator, was on the scene after the accident had happened, and reassured fans that Verstappen’s hospital visit is merely routine, but he explained his view of what happened on the ground.

“Max was a little bit shaken but he has gone to hospital for a routine check-up,” Roberts told Sky Sports.

“As we were coming round the corner we saw the screen and it looked like we were looking at a roll – fortunately it’s wasn’t but it was still a pretty impressive impact.

“We try and assess as quickly as possible while he still in the car, but obviously we need to get him out to see what’s wrong with him. It’s about just trying to relax him because he’s trying to get out. Then it’s about getting the resources in for a proper assessment.

“No other injuries apparent at the moment.”

After serving his penalty at his pit stop, Hamilton was able to reel in the cars in front and overtake Charles Leclerc three laps from the finish, to earn his 99th career victory in thrilling fashion at his home race.

The reigning World Champion is now eight points behind his title rival after a record eighth British Grand Prix victory, but the manner of his crash with Verstappen left a sour taste in the mouths of those of a Red Bull persuasion.