Among all the nuances of the incident between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on lap 26 of last Sunday’s Italian GP (12), the Dutchman caught the eye. Soon after getting out of his car, which was parked on top of the seven-times champion’s Mercedes, Verstappen passed Hamilton, but didn’t even stop to show concern for his rival, who was hit by Red Bull’s rear tire, but was saved by the halo of a much stronger impact. Hamilton showed surprise at the attitude of the leader of the Drivers’ World Championship.
“I saw Max come out and just walk by [ao lado]. I found this a bit surprising because ultimately when we go out and have incidents, the first thing you want to check is that the guy we ran into is okay,” Hamilton said at a news conference shortly after the race.
“But the good thing is that I managed to get out. It was a long walk back [aos boxes], but we are alive to fight again”, commented Lewis, relieved.
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+OPINION GP: Hamilton is right: Verstappen insists on giving in and adopts a dangerous position
In July, Verstappen, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, in unison, criticized Hamilton harshly for the fact that the seven-times champion had celebrated his victory in the British GP and, in their view, had not shown concern for the Dutchman’s state of health, which was sent to hospital after heavy crash after Hamilton incident at Copse corner on first lap. Hamilton claimed at the time that he asked via radio about Verstappen’s condition and received in response that his rival was ok.
Since then, tempers have grown even more in the relationship between Red Bull and Mercedes. After the tension at Silverstone, Hamilton and Verstappen maintain a respectful relationship and usually greet each other when they are in front of the cameras.
Lewis said the first reaction he had right after the crash at the corner 1 chicane at Monza was to try to get out of the car and get back into the race.
“I definitely didn’t think Max would lose control going past the zebra and hit me. Looking back, it all happened very quickly. Inside the car, all I could think about was getting out of there and how many positions I was losing,” he declared.
“It was still in race mode, so it’s something like: can I [correr] again? I’m sitting here in a little pain, but come on. But, unfortunately, the car did not move”, recalled the Mercedes driver.
Asked about his medical condition, Hamilton said he is fine and will work together with his physiotherapist to fully recover to compete in the Russian GP. The seven-times champion also highlighted the importance of the halo, which saved his life. “I’m in a bit of pain, to be honest. In fact, I think it was an adrenaline rush at the time and it seems to get a little worse as the adrenaline builds up. But I will work with Angela [Cullen] to fix it”.
“I honestly think I have to feel very happy today. Thank God for the halo, which saved me and saved my neck. I think, given the moment, it was a great success. But all I could think about was if I could run again,” concluded Lewis Hamilton.