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Mercedes claim "aggressive" Verstappen defence made Hamilton crash "inevitable"

Mercedes claim "aggressive" Verstappen defence made Hamilton crash "inevitable"

F1 News

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Mercedes claim "aggressive" Verstappen defence made Hamilton crash "inevitable"

Mercedes claim "aggressive" Verstappen defence made Hamilton crash "inevitable"

Mercedes believe Max Verstappen's "aggressive" racecraft resulted in what trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has claimed was an "inevitable" collision with Lewis Hamilton.

The incident between the two F1 title protagonists left Verstappen hurtling toward the barriers at Copse on the first lap at Silverstone, with Hamilton picking up a 10-second penalty.

The home favourite eventually overcame that, and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, to claim his eighth British GP victory, but the outcome could have been a lot different.

The incident has ignited the championship battle, with barbed comments directed from Red Bull towards Hamilton in the aftermath of the crash.

Despite Verstappen's team calling for a more severe punishment, Shovlin has described how Mercedes "didn't think the penalty was deserved".

"If you look at the guide the stewards have to determine who is at fault in terms of overtaking, Lewis was sufficiently alongside and we felt Max should have given him racing room," said Shovlin.

"If you look at the sprint, and even the opening lap of the main race, Lewis was constantly having to back out of it to avoid a collision and he was able to put his car into a position where he could stand his ground.

"Max drives aggressively and it is inevitable that one day, we are going to get an accident there.

"We were pleased with the job Lewis did and slightly disappointed to get the penalty but just relieved we could still win the race."

Mercedes and Hamilton grateful for red flag

Shovlin has revealed Hamilton would have been forced to retire from the race had there not been a red-flag period after the clash with Verstappen.

Although a safety car was called shortly afterwards, FIA race director Michael Masi ultimately decided to halt the grand prix so Verstappen's car could be retrieved and the tyre barrier be repaired.

It proved crucial as Shovlin added: "We'd failed the rim where we had the contact at the front left so that would have been a DNF had it not been red-flagged.

"The rest of the damage was actually remarkably little. It was a tyre temperature sensor that had got knocked loose so was waggling around.

"But amazingly it was the least important part of the front wing and it was the only one that broke."

What do you think?
JerryMyer

"we felt Max should have given him racing room,"

Is that on top of the 1-2m that Hamilton was overtly avoiding on the inside of the corner?

Dutch lives matter too, Lewis...

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