Defiant Hamilton: I have nothing to apologise for

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton does not feel his and Mercedes' Silverstone celebrations were disrespectful.

A defiant Lewis Hamilton says he doesn’t owe Max Verstappen an apology after the two clashed at the British GP, the Red Bull driver taken to hospital for checks.

Silverstone played host to round 10 of the 2021 World Championship with Hamilton looking for a record eighth British Grand Prix win and Verstappen eager to extend his winning run to four.

Lining up first and second on the grid with the Red Bull driver ahead, Hamilton made the better start and was quick to challenge his title rival.

The battle raged all the way through to Copse, which is where it ended.

Contact between the two sent Verstappen screaming into the barrier, the impact at 51G, while Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty.

Check all the latest 2021 teamwear via the official Formula 1 store

The stewards ruled that ‘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’.

A defiant Hamilton insists he did nothing wrong.

“I don’t think, from my current understanding, that I am in a position to have to apologise for anything. We were out there racing,” said the reigning World Champion.

The Brit, who said he would hit up Verstappen to check on him, added: “We live to fight another day, there will be a lot of tough races coming up and we have to learn to strike a decent balance.

“I don’t agree with the stewards but I take my penalty on the chin and get on with my job. I am not going to whine about it.

“Everyone is going to have a different opinion and I don’t particularly care what people think. I just do what I do and I am just really grateful for today.”

Hamilton went on to win the grand prix, narrowing his deficit to Verstappen to just eight points in the race for the Drivers’ Championship title.

He made a late pass on Charles Leclerc to grab the lead, passing the Ferrari driver through Copse.

Hamilton applauded Leclerc’s “very respectful” driving.

“He was very respectful in terms of leaving a gap,” he said. “I got relatively… somewhere alongside him so he knew that I was there but he stayed committed and just did a wider line and he nearly kept it and that was really great racing.

“I think for me in that moment, I backed out at one point just to make sure that we didn’t come together but I think it was just a really nice balance and I think that’s really how the racing should go and close.

“In a perfect world, that’s what would have happened in the first attempt but different time, different place, different driver.”