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Verstappen slates Hamilton to reopen old wounds

Verstappen slates Hamilton to reopen old wounds

Verstappen slates Hamilton to reopen old wounds

Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale
Verstappen slates Hamilton to reopen old wounds

Max Verstappen has taken aim at Lewis Hamilton after the bitter rivals clashed on the race track again at the São Paulo Grand Prix to reopen old wounds between the pair.

The 2021 title protagonists have seldom raced together this season given Mercedes' issues throughout the campaign.

But with the Silver Arrows resurgent at Interlagos and locking out the front row, Verstappen was faced with a battle to secure a 15th victory of the year.

After an early safety car, Verstappen attacked Hamilton at the first corner, before contact was made at the second turn, resulting in a damaged front wing for the Red Bull and seeing both dropping down the order.

"I went around the outside at turn one and I just felt it, as soon as I was going next to him, he had no intention to leave me space," claimed Verstappen.

"I said 'Okay, if you don't leave me space, we are just going to collide'.

"At the end of the day, we were too slow anyway. For him, it ruined his chance to win the race. The safety car, he still had the opportunity.

"But I thought after last year, we could maybe forget about it and finally race.

"When I went side by side, I was like 'Ok, let's have a good race' but I mean you feel it with a driver, if he is going to leave you space or not.

"There was zero intention to leave me space."

Verstappen, who was handed a five-second penalty to compound his frustrations, added: "I didn't expect the penalty.

"At the time we collided, I knew I was not going to win the race."

Verstappen complaints over confusing F1 rules

F1's racing regulations were altered after the fiery championship battle last season where Hamilton and Verstappen regularly came to blows.

"The rules, it is so confusing with how far you have got to be alongside, you get these kinds of things," said Verstappen.

"I would say 85 percent alongside, my intention is never to crash but I could see that he was just not going to leave me the space into the corner and then we collide.

"If he would have just moved a little bit, he probably would have stayed ahead anyway. It is a shame, I want to have a good fight.

"Honestly, I want to race and I thought we were racing. It is not like I am not there, you cannot just turn in."


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