Hospitalised Max slams ‘disrespectful’ celebrations

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton PA

Max Verstappen has criticised title rival Lewis Hamilton for showing “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour” after their high-speed collision.

The two title protagonists led the field at the start of the British Grand Prix, jostling for position throughout the first half of the lap as Hamilton looked to move back past the young Dutchman, after he was leapfrogged in sprint qualifying on Saturday.

Hamilton was able to get a tow on Verstappen as the two accelerated towards the flying right-hander at Copse – which is taken at speeds heading towards 200mph in qualifying.

The Mercedes driver put himself on the inside of the Red Bull heading into the corner, but the two made contact and Verstappen was sent flying into the tyre barrier at high speed – ruining his car in the process of an accident which also carried a monumental force of 51G onto his body.

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The 23-year-old was clearly winded after the incident, and was taken to hospital for further routine checks after his high-speed accident, but he did not have complimentary words for his fellow competitor.

“First of all: I am glad I’m ok. It was quite an impact at 51G but [I’m] feeling better,” Verstappen wrote on his Instagram page.

“Obviously very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us in any way and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track.

“Watching the celebrations after the race while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour but we move on.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, retorted that he doesn’t feel the Red Bull driver should be as ruthless in his driving as he has shown before. He also said that he didn’t know Verstappen was in hospital until he was told in the media pen after the race, though.

“I had a lot of anger after the shunt with Max,” the seven-time World Champion told Sky F1. “I just don’t feel like he needs to be aggressive as he is.”

While Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty by the Stewards after being adjudged to be at fault for the incident, he was able to fight his way back through the field and earn his 99th victory in Formula 1, overtaking Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc late on to close the gap behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship to just a slender eight points.