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British GP: Former F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone Believes Lewis Hamilton Was to Blame for Max Verstappen Crash

Verstappen accuses Hamilton of 'disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour' (AP)

Verstappen accuses Hamilton of 'disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour' (AP)

With the win at Silverstone, Mercedes are now just three points behind Red Bull in the constructors' standings.

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton has been in the news after his controversial win in the British Grand Prix, at Silverstone over the weekend. The seven-time world champion was involved in an early crash incident on the opening lap that saw championship leader Max Verstappen plough his Red Bull F1 car into a wall and out of the race. The Dutchman was rushed to the hospital where he spent six hours before being released after precautionary tests. Hamilton was slapped by a mere 10-second penalty; however, he went on to win the race and close the gap in the championship race to just eight points. It was his eighth win at the Silverstone track and by far, his most controversial.

Meanwhile, the war of words between F1 godfather Bernie Ecclestone and the legendary British driver reached another level after the former F1 supremo questioned the reigning champion’s hunger and drive to win in the sport. Ecclestone believes the Mercedes driver was to blame for the crash that ended Verstappen’s Sunday’s race.

Speaking to Sportsmail, Ecclestone said it was Hamilton who was to blame. He further said, “in the old days” such an incident was “one of those things” where it was clear that everyone was trying their best to “win the championship.”Ecclestone’s reference was to the world championship contenders who clashed on the opening lap into the tyre wall at Corpse corner at speeds close to 180mph.

However, he reiterated if the race stewards get involved, they should have given Hamilton “more than a 10-second penalty. It should have been 30 seconds.” “The punishment did not fit the crime,” he added.

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Ecclestone, 90, also explained that Hamilton was not in front before the collision and it wasn’t his corner to overtake. He was almost a car’s length away and that’s the reason the British racer hit his Dutch counterpart at the back and not the front.

Ecclestone’s views were seconded by Verstappen’s father Jos. The veteran of more than 100 F1 races said that Hamilton should have been disqualified. “It is really unacceptable what Hamilton did,” Verstappen Sr, said.“Max gave him space and was in front of him. You cannot overtake on the inside of Copse,” he added, before calling the 10-second penalty “ridiculous.” Notably, both the veterans are of the opinion that the organisers should have banned Hamilton from the race.

Meanwhile, with the win at Silverstone, Mercedes are now just three points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

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first published:July 21, 2021, 06:48 IST