Max Verstappen has been largely blamed for the turn two crash with Lewis Hamilton in last night’s Italian Grand Prix, earning himself a penalty.
The Red Bull driver has incurred a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in a fortnight.
Verstappen insisted the clash was a racing incident. At the same time, Hamilton accused Verstappen of taking unnecessary risks to get ahead of the Mercedes driver.
“[Verstappen] just didn’t want to give way today and he knew going into Turn 2 what was going to happen,” Hamilton said.
“He knew that he was going over the kerbs but he still did it.”
Race stewards investigated the accident after the race. They concluded that Verstappen had left his lunge on Hamilton ‘too late’ to make a clean overtake.
“This manoeuvre was attempted too late for the driver of car 33 (Verstappen) to have the right to the racing room,” read the Stewards’ findings.
“While car 44 (Hamilton) could have steered further from the kerb to avoid the incident, the stewards determined that his position was reasonable and therefore find that the driver of car 33 was predominantly to blame for the incident.”
The catalyst for the crash was a slow pitstop for Verstappen, which put him under threat from Hamilton’s overcut a few laps later.
From Verstappen’s perspective, he suggested Hamilton forced him onto the kerb at turn two, which pitched him on top of his rival.
“He just kept on pushing me wider and wider and at one point there was nowhere to go, he just pushed me onto the sausage kerb. That’s why, at the end of the day, we touched,” Verstappen said.
Verstappen still leads Hamilton in the driver’s standings by five points.