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Verstappen learned of Hamilton demise on medical centre bed

Verstappen learned of Hamilton demise on medical centre bed

F1 News

Verstappen learned of Hamilton demise on medical centre bed

Verstappen learned of Hamilton demise on medical centre bed

Max Verstappen revealed he learned of F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton’s retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix while lying on the medical centre bed having his blood pressure checked after his high-speed crash.

Verstappen crashed into the wall in the closing stages of the race in Baku following a tyre blowout after controlling it from the start, and was on course to lead Sergio Perez home in a one-two for Red Bull.

The crash stopped the race and left Lewis Hamilton primed for at least second place, only for the reigning champion to outbrake himself into turn one at the restart with two laps to run, leading to both contenders leaving without a point.

Asked when he found out about Hamilton’s demise, Verstappen said: “When I was laying on that bed. They were checking my blood pressure and suddenly my phone was vibrating a lot so I was ‘What’s going on?’.

“I could hear the cars, of course, and then I was done and I was allowed to leave and then I saw on the phone that Lewis had a problem in turn one.

"My blood pressure, even with those text messages, was absolutely fine.”

Verstappen ‘no sign’ of crash

Verstappen revealed he had no sign there were any issues with his tyres before his crash, with the sudden failure a shock.

“I didn’t see anything up until the moment, suddenly the tyre just blew off the rim and it’s not a nice impact to have, it’s quite a dangerous place to have a tyre blowout at that speed," added Verstappen.

“All fine with me, the car not so much, but up until then, I think we had a very strong race. I was basically matching the lap times that I had to do and we were fully in control.”

Verstappen was fortunate that Hamilton also failed to score, leaving him still with a slender four-point advantage over the reigning champion.

But the Dutch driver felt frustrated at his failure to capitalise on the issues Mercedes have been having at street circuits, with F1 returning to more ‘normal’ tracks from the next event with the French Grand Prix and two races in Austria.

“I find it very disappointing with what happened,” he added. “We lost out on a lot of points, we could have opened up that gap in the championship as well, so to have this happening, especially so close to the end, it’s very frustrating.”

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