Butlers delivered Red BullChampionship leader Verstappen received a three-place grid penalty for the next round in Russia after his car landed on Hamilton’s. Mercedes, with the rear tire hitting the champion’s head.
The halo protection device, a titanium ring around the cockpit, took most of the impact in a crash that knocked both drivers out of the race at Monza.
These are days like today, I remember how lucky I am. It takes a millisecond to go from a run to a very scary sit-in … https://t.co/IkmG2BKBT8
– Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) 1631471820000
“I feel very, very lucky today, thank God for the halo. That finally saved me, you know, and it saved my neck,” Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, told reporters.
“I don’t think I’ve ever hit my head with a car before, and it’s a huge shock to me.
“I am so, so grateful to be still here. I feel incredibly blessed. I feel like someone is taking care of me today.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff called it a ‘tactical foul’ but his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner said he was disappointed by the Austrian’s comment.
Lewis and Max in * that * collision 🗣🗣 #ItalianGP 🇮🇹 # F1 https://t.co/Pc6Gh0H5BH
– Formula 1 (@ F1) 1631468640000
“I think it’s a racing incident and luckily no one was hurt today,” he said after a race that ended in a McLaren one-two with Australian Daniel Ricciardo as the winner.
Stewards disagreed, saying Hamilton’s position was reasonable.
WHEEL TO WHEEL
Verstappen started and finished the day five points clear of Hamilton after earning two points in Saturday’s sprint qualifying race.
The Red Bull driver had lost 11 seconds due to a slow pit stop that put him down in order and when Hamilton pitted later, the Briton exited the pitlane a fraction ahead.
The cars raced wheel-to-wheel and made contact at the first chicane, the Red Bull lifted off the curb and soared into the air and they both ended up on the gravel.
“I made sure to leave him the width of a car on the outside, I went into turn one and I got ahead of turn two and all of a sudden he was on top of me,” Hamilton said.
“He just didn’t want to give in today and he knew what was going to happen when he entered two … but he still did,” he told Sky Sports television.
Verstappen said Hamilton “kept squeezing me.
First team to score 1-2 this season 🥇🥈🥳 # ItalianGP 🇮🇹 @ McLarenF1 https://t.co/ZHzFLEIHUB
– Formula 1 (@ F1) 1631474280000
“If he had left me just the width of a car, we would have run out of turn two anyway and I think I’d probably still be in front. But he kept pushing me further and at one point there was nowhere to go.”
Rivals for the title also clashed at Hamilton’s British Grand Prix when Verstappen ended up in hospital for testing and Hamilton took the victory.
“It was clear to Max that it would end in an accident,” Wolff said.
“We had a high-speed crash at Silverstone. We had one car that ended up on top of the other, on Lewis’s head, here. So how far can we go? Maybe next time we have a high-speed crash and land on each other. . ”