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Verstappen 'headbutting a tyre wall' denied him earlier F1 title triumph

Verstappen 'headbutting a tyre wall' denied him earlier F1 title triumph

Verstappen 'headbutting a tyre wall' denied him earlier F1 title triumph

Verstappen 'headbutting a tyre wall' denied him earlier F1 title triumph

Max Verstappen believes but for "headbutting the tyre wall in Silverstone" he would have been crowned F1 champion for the first time far sooner.

Verstappen's 180mph, 51g smash into a barrier on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix proved to be one of the stand-out moments of the past season which lit the blue touchpaper to his feud with Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutchman was left incensed with Hamilton and Mercedes for celebrating the Briton's victory while he was undergoing checks in a local hospital.

That incident played a part in the title fight going down to the wire in Abu Dhabi where a controversial safety car late in the race helped Verstappen overcome Hamilton to clinch his maiden crown.

Initially asked of team principal Christian Horner as to his key moments of the year, he replied: "There have been some big moments.

"It was important to get those victories, the run of results [France and double-header in Austria]. Then there were moments like Azerbaijan [Verstappen's tyre blowout] we had to come back from.

"It was important to come back strong, and Max did that, and then Silverstone was a key moment, and again how he came back from that.

"For me, in the latter part of the championship, particularly Austin, where we were certainly the underdog on that day, he delivered a victory that was truly outstanding."

Asked the same question, unsurprisingly Verstappen recalled the British GP especially, adding: "Same as Christian. Headbutting the tyre wall in Silverstone wasn't that great.

"These were key moments otherwise it would have been decided a lot earlier.

"Especially towards the end of the season, getting a few wins where we didn't expect it, or a pole position, or even a fastest lap for an extra point.

"These things actually do matter nowadays when you have a championship fight as we had."

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