Alonso, Leclerc and Bottas consider Hamilton-Verstappen crash a racing incident

2021 British Grand Prix

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The controversial collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on the first lap of yesterday’s British Grand Prix was deemed a racing incident by several of their top rivals.

Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty for the collision, and two points on his licence, as the stewards deemed he was “predominantly at fault” for the incident. He tangled with Verstappen at Copse corner, sending the Red Bull into the tyre barriers at high speed and with a recorded 51G impact.

Charles Leclerc, who was immediately behind the pair when they tangled, described the collision as a “racing incident”.

“It is very difficult to judge it from the car, we are very low so it’s difficult to see,” he said. “Everything went very quick. Obviously I could see there was quite a bit of things going around in front of me.

“I think it’s a racing incident. It’s quite difficult to put the blame on one or the other. Obviously there was space on the inside.

“Maybe Lewis was not completely at the apex but it’s also true that Max was quite aggressive on the outside. So, things happen, what is the most important today is that Max is unharmed and is fine.”

Hamilton passed Leclerc at the same corner later in the race. The Mercedes driver praised Leclerc’s “respectful” approach to their fight for position.

“I knew Lewis was in the inside,” said Leclerc. “I left a space and unfortunately, I think I had stayed in front, but in the very end of the corner I got a snap and lost a little bit of time and then Lewis got in front of me.”

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Red Bull pilloried Hamilton for the collision. Team principal Christian Horner repeatedly accused him of “sticking a wheel up the inside” of his driver. However Fernando Alonso believes Hamilton was far enough alongside the Red Bull to have earned the right to contest the corner.

Report: Hamilton “went in too hot” in Verstappen collision – Ricciardo
“It looked quite close, I think Lewis had more than half a car alongside Max,” said Alonso. “So in a way, Lewis could not disappear from that inside line. It’s not that you can vanish.”

Alonso also said neither driver was at fault. “It was an unfortunate moment of the race, but nothing intentional or nothing that any of the two drivers did wrong, in my opinion. So that was an unlucky moment, I guess.”

Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas wasn’t surprised the pair ended up colliding.

“I saw them fighting through lap one, a bit like yesterday. I had a feeling something was going to happen.

“But they were fighting hard. That kind of thing, that happens, it’s racing. It can happen. When you fight hard, when you don’t give up.

“I’m just happy that Max is fine because it was a big shunt. Also, I really feel like Lewis fully deserved the win today.”

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2021 British Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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132 comments on “Alonso, Leclerc and Bottas consider Hamilton-Verstappen crash a racing incident”

  1. It was bound to happen at some stage given that the cars are so close and both Max and Lewis are ultracompetitive. Hopefully we’ll not have a rest-of-the-season of bumping cars, especially for their physical sake. Also, a race without one of these 2 is not as interesting for me, even though I’d love a surprise win, but it just doesnt feel as close and unpredictable.

    1. Definitely.
      I also agree it was a racing incident but it turned sour for a reason and that is why Ham got the penalty, bound to happen. Obviously one driver got away with it and the other didn’t but that happens too, like spa Ham v Nico. In bike racing racing incidents are more harshly judged upon recklesness like Sachsenring’s Jake Dixon clash, but my problem with this penalty surrounds budget cap and possible PU parts penalties.

      1. Max knows how fast Copse is and what happens if he has contact hanging on round the outside, and he also knows how much it costs when he completely trashes a car. So in a 50/50 he was always likely to be the big loser, and this is why it’s called ‘aggressive’ to take 50/50 in that situation. Lando had a lift, Charles took a wider line, being wiser. Lewis took the 50/50, being on the inside, and wiser.

        1. That is just too easy to say. Lando was no match compared the overspeed Lewis has. And Charles didn’t want to put in the risk of losing 2nd place by a crash. I mean, if they fight with Lewis for the championship it would be different. Max left him space but Lewis steered into him due dirt on tires and heavy car. If there wasn’t a red flag Lewis had also to pay for his risky move.

          1. Max didn’t really leave him space. Nobody goes into Copse right next to the inside kerb expecting to follow it to the exact apex, and Max also knew Lewis had a heavy car and was on a dirty line. Lando and Charles both chose the low risk approach, and Max knowingly chose the high risk one with its high speed, barrier and all the rest.

            So what I’m saying is it doesn’t work to blame Lewis for the consequences of the contact, because Max knew them perfectly well, when he dialled in the level of risk he chose. It was a big risk, with that huge crash at stake, and that’s what was ‘aggressive’ about it.

            So for me they both chose a degree of risk, and Max chose one that would always be expensive if it didn’t pay off.

          2. But Max was content to risk losing a chunk of his 33 points, but LeClerc had the sense to realise that it’s best to get what you can?

            Sums Max up really. His 100% all or nothing racing is a joy to watch – but like Hamilton during his ‘black and white’ days of 2011, fraught with danger.

  2. Mr. Horner will now call Alonso and Leclerc as “Hamilton’s lobbying”. Sad that team principals cannot receive penalty points for B.S. talking.

    1. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Even you!
      You can think its a racing incident and there is some argument for that.
      But most lewis fans blame Max for fighting lewis. They seem to think that is something you are not allowed to do.
      Like Russell who got a reprimand form Toto for fighting Bottas in Imola.
      The problem is Max defended his leading position and lewis was multiple times unable to pass. max defended brilliant and lewis lost car control. Not intentional, but a bit like an rookie.
      Problem here is the well deserved penalty is nothing compared with the consequences for the opponent. But that is what F1 is..
      Like Max said.. “we move on”

      1. “But most lewis fans blame Max for fighting lewis”.

        Really? I don’t think so. Most welcome the competition, everyone is keen for this season. I agree that the penalty was too lenient however imho, however it’s the old debate about should the penalty take into account the final consequence or on the driving itself. I’m still unsure myself based on seeing many many incidents over the years.

        1. The sense of entitlement at Lewis is beyond anything. A 4 year old is more mature

          1. Davethechicken
            21st July 2021, 10:11

            Spare us the hypocrisy. Horner often proudly spouts off about Max’s aggressive crash or let me past attitude.
            They glorify it as a positive attribute.
            Works both ways.

      2. Like Russell who got a reprimand form Toto for fighting Bottas in Imola.

        It was a team feud, and there’s still a team feud going on between Mercedes and Williams. I hope McLaren and Aston Martin distance themselves from this team feud.

    2. @bulgarian Yep. My conclusion from the episode was (1) racing incident, two drivers, same bit of track, neither wanting to cede, (2) Hamilton penalized, perhaps because the stewards saw it differently, perhaps due to the calculated and cynical overreaction from Horner and his boss. Who knows. I’m not opposed to Red Bull complaining and asking for penalties, obviously it’s expected, but it was deeply unpleasant in tone and undoubtedly worsened the hostility towards Hamilton on social media. They need to know when they’re playing with fire.

  3. I’m no racing driver but it looked like that to me too. Hamilton had earned the right to contest the corner, he was fully alongside coming in, but he ran slightly wide and Max had given him just enough room. It was as intentional as Hulkenberg understeering towards Hamilton at Interlagos 2012, that left him with a drive through penalty which I found was very harsh at the time.

    I also agree with Masi. As bad as the consequence was, and we’re all delighted Max left the scene unscratched, it shouldn’t affect the decision on the cause of the incident.

    1. @fer-no65 I think where your point falls apart is claiming LH ran ‘slightly’ wide, and Max had given him ‘just enough’ room. Had LH taken the same line he did later for CL, Max would have been leaving him about 2 car widths of room on the inside. There is a reason why the stewards ruled as they did. There was nothing more Max could have nor should have done. It was up to LH to control his car and he didn’t.

      In general what I always keep in mind with these situations is that it is always the trailing driver than has more control over the situation for he is the one that has the full view of it. Max in this case had his vibrating right side mirror and the knowledge that he was way outside the apex. When he sees LH he jinks his wheel to the left. It was LH that had the greater control over the situation, having the full forward view. He chose to go in ‘too hot’ as DR put it, and whether or not that is what sent him so wide of the apex I don’t know, but surely Max had to be thinking there was nothing more he could do given the space he was leaving. It was certainly not on Max to back out when he was always ahead and LH had plenty of room inside to own a line.

      1. max had more room to his left than lewis had to his right.
        plus when lewis overtook CL,,ofcourse he wanted to be extra careful….
        the bottom line is,it was a racing incident,,no big deal.

      2. James O'Neill
        19th July 2021, 21:59

        Why did Max in his last act turn his steering wheel aggressively to the right taking him directly into LHs path, typical of his over aggressive style of driving this has been coming for a long time he believes that he’s got the fastest car now and all should get out of his way.

        1. He had oversteer while making the corner. He does a fast correction. That’s what you see and he then makes the corner on the racing line. If you go wide you get what charles had. Hamilton was the aggressor not max. Going in on the dirty side of the track with full weight. Rookie mistake.

          1. Rookie “mistake”?
            A 25 point swing is one hell of a “mistake”.

          2. I dont think the 7x wdc fifteen year veteran made a mistake. I also remember him punting albon twice when he wasn’t getting his way

      3. The contact happened on lap one, with full tanks onboard, slightly cold tires. It’s always very risky to not take some buffer in this kind of situation, even more when you’re leading the championship and can afford to lose a few points (or retake the lead later in the race).
        Both drivers could have avoided the contact.
        But Verstappen didn’t want to, running off track at turn one to keep the lead.

        I’m happy Max is ok, and more over I’m happy Mercedes is competitive again. Max had no competition for the previous 5 races. May it not finish in crashes in the future because he doesn’t want to concede a corner.

        1. No competition in france, with mercedes fastest car in the race? A joke.

          1. Verstappen had pole, fastest lap and the win. I don’t think the Mercedes was the fastest car there.
            What element tells you that it was the case @esploratore1?

      4. I agree entirely with ‘Robbie’ above. Absolutely correct and right on the money. Very well said. Autosport commented that we will surely see more of this over the rest of the season. Wait a minute: this is FORMULA ONE not NASCAR. And didn’t we have enough of racers running into their opponents when Schumacher and Senna were “overly aggressive”? The main difference, of course, was that their moves were 100% intentional….entirely unacceptable. So it is said that LH had to make this move early in the race. Really? On the first lap?……and at a 175 MPH corner? And by doing so prevent the 145,000 fans from enjoying a whole race full of great racing between respectful competitors? Lewis didn’t maintain control of his car and the consequences could have been far worse. How would he great champions like Moss, Prost, Stewart, Hill, Andretti and the like react to such a move? I firmly believe they would have judged LH to have been completely at fault.

        1. Interestingly, Alain Prost made no public comment about the incident. Neither did Stewart or Andretti. No body can speak for Moss or Hill, so we’ll never know.
          I’m afraid JohnMerr that your assertion is baseless.

        2. Nah, they were racers and would judge it as a racing incident. As it wa.

      5. Of course there’s ‘more’ Max could have done. He could have thought ‘you know what been 2nd on the first lap with a lead of 33 points, ain’t that bad’ and pulled out.

        Just because he shouldn’t have to do, doesn’t make it right

        I really hope Max keeps this combative edge going, as it will mean another zero point showing.

        Needs to watch Hamilton from 17′ to last season. Never got involved with aggressive ‘argy bargy’ – as illustrated when Max denied him the title at Texas 2018.

        1. @banbrorace Lol Albon twice is what immediately came to mind.

  4. Like Szafnauer, Chandhok, Palmer, Salo, and co.

    1. @jerejj
      Citing Szafnauer and Chandhok is more than enough to dismiss your argument !

      1. @tifoso1989 What have they done wrong? The latter is a former driver, after all.

        1. Obviously, the most credible source is Christian Horner for Tifoso1989.

        2. The first one has literally copied the Mercedes car and uses it’s power unit, the second one is working for a British TV station @jerejj

          1. @paeschli Both points are funny. UK’s Sky has good pundits.

          2. Fred Fedurch
            19th July 2021, 22:13

            UK’s Sky has good pundits.”

            Don’t quit your day job.

        3. @jerejj
          Szafnauer is… Szafnauer. He couldn’t wait to speak on behalf of Toto Wolff who is a dear friend of his boss Lawrence. That aside, even on other topics non related to Mercedes the man is known for his nonsense…nonsense.

          Chandhok on the other hand while he comes as a cool guy, he works for Sky F1 which is by far the most biased media channel in F1. They are Hamilton’s n°1 fans, even if he robs a bank they will still find a way to defend him.

      2. Ok, let’s dismiss Szafnauer and Chandhok. What about all the others drivers though? The point is at least debatable.

      3. LOL!! Don’t you think it strange that given such a serious accident, that hardly a single driver came out against Hamilton? Even Riccardo saw it as mild

    2. @jerejj
      But yet UNLIKE the stewards who actually make the decision and hand out the penalty.
      The Mercedes should have been handed a drive through penalty, 10 seconds added to your pit stop is a joke.

  5. Anyone that actually analyzes the on-boards of Max and Lewis will know it wasn’t a true racing accident. Max took evasive action Lewis did not. Lewis was not on the racing line, he completely missed the apex by 2 meters.. maybe understeering or maybe even intentionally… Either way he drove into Max and he should have driven a different line. So he’s 100% at fault, Max not at all.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      19th July 2021, 16:50

      True, Chandhok analyzed it and put the blame on Verstappen

      1. Yep, and they’re wrong @f1osaurus!

      2. @f1osaurus Obviously there are many arguments. The latest I have come across is from Scott Mansell, a.k.a. Driver61. I think that he gives a pretty balanced and decent view on this from a racer’s perspective.

        1. @aegges66 I watched and there’s a crucial point towards the end where he admits ‘Max could have left more room but that would have compromised his speed out of Copse’. That seriously undermines his own argument. Lewis was more than half a car level with Max, so by the regulations, Max had to allow room: he didn’t have an automatic ‘right’ to the racing line or the apex or the best speed out of the corner. Verstappen was expected to accept that his ideal line through was compromised because he was now competing for the corner. You can argue that both had to compromise and Verstappen did enough but Lewis not so. However the way Max turned in showed no indication of a willingness to allow sufficient room, meaning the incident was essentially 50/50 with Max definitely being unwise to try slamming his way past when he could have kept racing.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          20th July 2021, 7:34

          @aegges66 Yeah an utter Verstappen fan like him is going to have balanced view.

      3. @f1osaurus
        And what about the stewards, did they blame Verstappen? Last time I checked, they are the opinion that matters. Chandhok is going to say what the homers want to hear.

    2. i don’t understand the “not on the racing line” argument. of course he wasn’t on the racing line, he was attempting a pass. if everyone was on the racing line at all times there would be no overtakes

      1. @nickthegreek Maybe it would be better simply to say he was “wide of the apex,” as Leclerc noted. Verstappen gave him just enough room, but Hamilton didn’t take it.

        Of course, Verstappen made it very difficult for Hamilton to hit that apex by forcing him so low on the run down to Copse. It would have been hard to sight the apex, with the old pit wall so close. And even if Hamilton had aimed for the apex, given that he was pinned that far to the inside, he would likely have run wide and possibly could have hit Verstappen at a blunter angle deeper into the corner. Really, his only choice to avoid contact would have been to back out.

        Of course, that was an option, so in the end, I think the 10-second penalty for “causing a collision” is fair enough.

        I have a hard time calling it a 50/50 because I don’t think Verstappen did anything wrong, as far as the regulations are concerned. But Hamilton was far enough alongside that he had earned the right to contest the corner, and with Verstappen being on the outside and with a championship lead to defend, one can certainly argue that it would have been wiser for him to leave more room and lived to fight another lap.

        1. It’s a really poor incentive to set. Drive recklessly in certain situations and the worst you get is an easy to overcome time penalty, while your opponent now has two potential wins thrown away (one now and one later because of the extra put needed), while their team also loses cap dollars. I think one will probably happen is a similar incident will happen with roles reversed and the fia will throw massive penalties at max

        2. Davethechicken
          21st July 2021, 15:04

          No where in the rules does it say the car on the inside has to hit the apex. They just have to leave the other car one cars width.
          Hamilton is within his right to run Max wide- as long as he leaves a car width.

    3. Hmm, so Max was 2 meters from the apex. Interesting, as an F1 car is 2 meters wide… You’d think a good driver doing 180mph would leave a bit more room considering there’s a car on his inside.

      I’ve watched the footage frame by frame and Max turns in, then opens the steering before sharply turning in again. Max took no evasive action at all. Plus let’s not ignore the fact that Hamilton was on that line because Verstappen pushed him there in the first place. Sometime you have to know when to back out and manage the race. Verstappen had the pace to win even if Hamilton got ahead.

      Completely agree with the fellow racing drivers here. 50/50. Both played a part now on to Hungry.

      1. @Tom: no Lewis was 2 meters from the apex

      2. @Tom: steering right as Copse is a right turn, and then he clearly steers left and steers back right to not plough into the barriers head first. I don’t know what you expect when a driver takes evasive actionut that was what the steering left bit was…

        1. Davethechicken
          19th July 2021, 17:55

          Lewis only has to leave Max one car width. He left much more than that. Max didn’t have to turn into Lewis. He had more than a car width on the outside.

    4. wOoOdy Agreed. As per the stewards decision.

      1. the stewards didnt put all the blame on lewis tho

        1. They did.

          1. @montalvo No, they didn’t. ‘Predominantly at fault.’ Not ‘Entirely at fault.’
            Mercedes argued that Hamilton was more than half level and thus according to the regulations Max had to allow room. Sure it would have compromised his speed out of Copse, but that’s the price you pay when someone is making a legitimate pass. But Hamilton also had oversteer and was not entirely level. Those ambiguities are why some have blamed Hamilton mostly (the stewards), while others have called it a racing incident (some other drivers, team principals, journalists). Red Bull have said Hamilton should have been black flagged but I think we can safely put that down to histrionics and outright cynicism.

    5. max didnt take evasive action..he clearly turned away,then turned back in again as if lewis wasnt there.
      max had more room to his left than lewis had to his right.

    6. By evasive action do you mean that little hesitant blip of the steering to the left, then turning hard right like a gazelle towards the driver on the inside?

  6. Expert opinion = It was a Racing incident.


    1. Expert opinion = nobody wants to burn their hands.


  7. Definitely a tough one to decide. On the one hand, Max was in front and on the faster outside line coming into Copse and Lewis was on the tighter slower line. So the Mercedes was always going to understeer a bit into that corner. On the other hand, Max didn’t need to cut across that much in front of Lewis and cross his line (reminded me a little bit of Max vs Ocon in Interlagos 2018).

    In the end there was contact and Lewis did hit Max. Racing incident or not, the stewards have decided and that’s most likely going to be the end of that story.

    Well, it’s already pretty late. Time to pick up Christian and Toto from the kindergarten ;)

    1. max only ended up infront after lewis braked before him…but like alonso said,,by that time lewis couldnt just disapear.

    2. On the other hand, Max didn’t need to cut across that much in front of Lewis and cross his line (reminded me a little bit of Max vs Ocon in Interlagos 2018).

      @srga91 Me too. Max actually takes a lot of corners like that, goes out a bit wider before cutting in sharply, part of his kit of driving techniques. But it’s also a racing strategy, used to aggressively assert ‘my corner’ as he did with Ocon (to his own cost). I suspect this was an instance, in part, of the latter. He knew Hamilton was fighting aggressively and wanted to make it known he would ‘never cede,’ almost a game of chicken. Fair enough, it’s the right of both of them to drive like that. But two into one doesn’t go ultimately and either someone cedes (as Hamilton had done on a previous corner) or there’s contact. Personally I don’t think Hamilton had any option but to keep fighting – he had to let Verstappen know that at some point he’s going to stay in there, contact or not.

  8. Alonso is bang on the money. 20 cars driving around on a piece of tarmac at 200+mph, sometimes two of them might inevitably collide. There was no malice involved – the move itself was not inherently dangerous (for those saying “you can’t overtake at Copse” you are plain wrong, as we saw several other times yesterday alone).

    Did Lewis have the right to attack? Of course, he was sufficiently alongside on the straight.
    Was Max able to avoid the collision? Again, yes he could.
    Was Lewis found predominantly to blame? Yes, he understeered into Max.
    Will trolling an internet forum, arguing against people and sending abusive messages to one or both of the drivers change the result? Not a chance.

    Frankly, I think we can all be united in being thankful that Max emerged relatively unscathed. It was a scary impact, and shows how well the FIA have done in improving safety over the recent years.

    1. I don’t agree that Verstappen could have avoided this @minnis He was already taking the widest line that would have still allowed him to clear the corner.

      1. “He was already taking the widest line that would have still allowed him to clear the corner”… while keeping the loud pedal pinned to the floor.

        Of course, he could’ve lifted the loud pedal to avoid an incident and still made the corner. It’s not just about steering angle. So while I understand your point, and it’s not in a drivers nature to lift, it was in fact possible to avoid the accident.

      2. @paeschli Note the use of my words. Verstappen could have avoided it. I didn’t say he could avoid it and stay on the road. He had a choice – go wide and off the track, or stay on track and collide. Now, I’m not trying to pin the blame on Verstappen (far from it) – just that we’ve already seen Hamilton be put into this position twice this season (Spain and Imola, turn 1) and Hamilton chose to bail. In this situation, had Hamilton got past with Verstappen going off track, then Verstappen could easily claim that Hamilton pushed him wide and be given the place back. That’s the sort of thinking that will win world championships – choosing a 7 point swing rather than a 25 point swing.

        It’s like if you’re on a roundabout, with right of way, but see a lorry careering towards you with no chance of stopping. You’d do the sensible thing and stop, even though you have right of way. Remember that it takes two to crash, even if one person is predominantly to blame.

    2. Did Lewis have the right to attack? Of course, he was sufficiently alongside on the straight.

      Did VER had the right to defend? Yes, he did.

      1. @mg1982 apologies for not making it clearer in my original post. Yes, Verstappen had the right to defend. His defence was robust but fair. But that doesn’t change any of my other points.

        1. Davethechicken
          21st July 2021, 15:08

          His defence lead directly to his dnf

  9. Max blocked the inside. Lewis went very late for the small gap on the inside. Max gave space. Lewis was never able to make that corner without contact. Watch Leclercs onboard. No way you can make that corner approaching from the inside so close to the wall and on the dirty part. Lewis was the attacking party. He should be more cautious.
    If it really was a racing incident, lewis wouldn’t got a penalty.
    I’m all for hard racing. But this was a dangerous move imo.

    1. Davethechicken
      19th July 2021, 17:57

      Lewis just has to leave Max one car width. He left more. The stewards did not say Hamilton was entirely at fault.

    2. lewis did not go in very late,,thats a lie…go watch the onboards from max and lewis cars.
      it wasnt a lunge up the inside like you seem to claim.

    3. @rvg013 Any overtake in high-speed racing is a dangerous move though. It’s an extreme sport, albeit now with layers of protection. Was it reckless? No. You could maybe so miscalculated within the limits of human error. But I don’t think so, really. I think Verstappen could and should have given space because he was on the outside and Hamilton was well alongside. He chose to cut into the corner anyhow and ruined his own race. The question is what would happen in a replay of the scenario? I think probably the same outcome to be honest.

      1. Max was not on the ideal racing line and gave Lewis enough space but also for him self to make the corner. If he would go more to the left he would hit the dirt side of the corner with the risk of losing the car. Compared to Charles he was on the same line. In my opinion and also the stewards, if you attack you have to let the opponent live. Lewis didn’t at that moment.

        1. @ruben I’m fairly sure Hamilton allowed Verstappen to live. Had the stewards seemed the move reckless, rather than a legitimate but misjudged move, then they wouldn’t have given just a ten second penalty. I mean context, please. When Grosjean decided to spin himself back onto track with half the field set to race past him still, causing a multiple collision, he wasn’t penalized for reckless driving. Hamilton and Verstappen were both battling brilliantly and aggressively and Verstappen lost out. Sucks, I’m sure, for some people. But next time it could well be Hamilton skidding off track and Verstappen collecting the points. It’s all a bit overblown.

    4. Based on your logic, Max was stupid to turn into Lewis because according to you, Lewis was never going to make the corner. What do drivers do when someone tries a kamazi dive that has no chance of sticking? They let the the diver through and into the gravel trap :)

      Also, Lewis was far closer to hitting the apex than Max, so there goes that argument, Jenson.

      According to the official rules, the driver who is at least 50% alongside is entitled to take the racing line. If you think that he cannot make the corner, then you let him though and laugh as he runs off the track like Max did in Bahrain and also in the first corner at Silverstone (which is now completely ignored because of the subsequent crash). Max should have been penalized for running off the track to maintain P1 at the first turn. He even barged his way back onto the racing line and nearly took Hamilton out (who had given him so much space when he shouldn’t have).

      Watch what Hamilton did in Spain and also several corners before the Copse crash as the blueprint for avoiding a crash when on the outside line. Max was nowhere near as far alongside in Spain and simply barged his way through. Hamilton remained patient and beat him later in the race anyway. Masterclass. Even Horner admitted that it was Hamilton who avoided a crash on that occasion, a comment which he would deeply regret today if he had any integrity or consistency.

  10. I wonder if the first two think Imola was a racing incident too. This and Imola are both racing incidents. I’m gonna be backlashed in 3,2,1…

    1. No, I agree with you.

      1-0 to you!

      1. You actually said that first, so I’ll credit you for it. I’m not in my “ultimate form” yet.

  11. I saw the leclerc interview when answering that question and it was pretty obvious he was just being polite and trying not to take sides (Hamilton was right next to him)

    Alonso is basing his opinion on this:

    “It looked quite close, I think Lewis had more than half a car alongside Max,” said Alonso. “So in a way, Lewis could not disappear from that inside line. It’s not that you can vanish.”

    Which is simply wrong, Hamilton did not have more than a half car along verstappen, he had his front wing by verstappen’s rear tires. If Alonso knew that he’d probably have a different opinion

    While bottas… I mean… it’s bottas

    1. go watch the onboards from both cars,because youre talking nonsense.

      1. @matt
        I did, and so have the stewards who, correctly, punished Hamilton.

        1. I suspect the stewards deemed it to be a racing incident, however due to circumstances they had to punish Hamilton.

          Under the normal course of events if the red flag wasn’t required, Hamilton would’ve had to pit for a new nose and come out in last place or even retired as Mercedes have subsequently hinted at. In this case they could happily chalk it down to a racing incident – both drivers lost out.

          As it was, the race was red flagged, firstly for barrier repair and secondly they couldn’t tell if the Red Bull was still “live” and unsafe to move.

          Hamilton therefore got his car fixed for free at no cost to him – he was P2 before the crash and P2 after. I suspect that heavily influenced the stewards decision to ultimately punish him and why they took so long to announce the punishment. If it was a slam dunk 100% Hamilton’s fault they would’ve announced the penalty a lot sooner.

          1. @cdavman
            Fully disagree with that first paragraph, and I’m not going to argue about it (many others have already done it on my behalf). Excellent follow up analysis on that imaginary section.

        2. If the stewards correctly penalized Lewis, then you also have to accept that the magnitude of the penalty was correct too, right?

    2. it was pretty obvious he was just being polite

      Are you serious?

      he had his front wing by verstappen’s rear tires

      If this was the case, then Verstappen’s rear tire wouldn’t have come into contact with Lewis’ front tire since the front wing is in front of the tires, right?

      1. @Emma
        Yes I am fully serious, go watch it… hell I mightve done the same thing if I was in his shoes. Lots of pauses with hands pressing against each other, and feeble neutral statements… pretty evident trying to find the right words to create the least controversy.

        Fair enough on the distancing, but still no where near “more than half a car alongside max”

        1. Alonso was referring to the fact that Lewis had gotten to a point where he had a lot more than half a car alongside Max. This can clearly be seen on a slow-mo of the replay from Max’s camera, as you can see Lewis’ front wing appear in the shot.

          At that moment, they were both at full speed down the straight, heading into the corner. After that point, Lewis clearly realises Max is going to cut across and they were going to make contact, and so brakes slightly earlier, which is why the contact was Max’s rear wheel with Lewis’ front wheel.

          If Lewis had done the same as Max and not backed out at all (which he would have been entitled to do as long as he made the corner), Max would have driven into the side of Lewis’ car. That’s not to say Max was to blame, but Alonso was basing his reaction on the footage seen and not some second-hand account. So why are you doubting his opinion?

          1. @simon999
            Yes you are not wrong Alonso is pointing out that at a moment Hamilton was more than a car length along verstappen. I am doubting his opinion because that was not the case at the point of contact. That’s the important point of of my opinion, and when discussing this incident.

            Lewis did not back out at all, and the proof is him missing the apex. He was right on the limit and exceeded the threshold a bit and contacted verstappen. If he was on the limit, however (and backed off a slight bit), he would’ve made the apex and maybe excited the corner alongside (or in front) and the nice duel would’ve continued.

    3. That’s the kind of context I would have expected in the article

    4. Hamilton did not have more than a half car along verstappen

      He got more than halfway alongside Max.

      1. Yup, that and the onboard from the roll hoop from Max’s car at the point when he makes the 2nd right hand steering action and commits to the corner, you can clearly see Hamilton’s front wing in shot.

        So… Pretty much completely alongside I’d say.

        1. @cdavman
          Onboards distort distances, I highly recommend using aerial views like Stef.
          You’ll see that never did Hamilton get his car level with verstappen. He gets his front wing about level with verstappen’s front tires (which is still behind verstappen) at corner entry but that’s because he over-braked himself. And overbraking into a corner can lead to understeer, and running a bit wide and missing the apex. Exactly what we saw with Hamilton. This is a textbook racing 101 lesson. A misjudged move that got a deserved penalty.

          Alonso would have been right (and I would’ve shut up) if Hamilton was half a car up at contact. Having half your car alongside your competitor at corner entry doesn’t mean the corner is yours.

          1. I can’t believe the stupidity in your arguing. First you claim Hamilton was never even half alongside. Then Stef shows a picture that he was more than half alongside. Then you say, “yes but he was never fully alongside”. You just keep changing the narrative for it to fit your argument. The biggest joke of all:

            Having half your car alongside your competitor at corner entry doesn’t mean the corner is yours.

            . You’re basically saying the corner wasn’t Verstappen’s either. As he was half alongside his competitor too. Yet he steered in as if no one’s there.

            This was a text book example of a racing incident. Alonso said it. Leclerc said it. Szafnauer said it. You can view it with orange tinted glasses and conclude otherwise. But don’t claim to remain objective while doing so. Dutch television especially have been a joke commenting on this subject.

      2. @stefmeister

        That picture is towards the run-up, or corner entry at most.
        Was it “more than half a car” at the apex (did hamilton even come close to the apex?)? Was it “more than half a car” at contact?
        Alonso is rarely wrong but he missed with that statement

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          20th July 2021, 7:42

          Yes and that’s where it counts. Not after one car braked already to avoid the other one turning right into him

          At least if the stewards made any sense and actually applied the rules of overtaking.

    5. I’ve heard all of the Red Bull comments, and it’s obvious that they’re just being polite to Max, so as not to criticize him :)

  12. RandomMallard (@)
    19th July 2021, 19:12

    After the emotions have settled down a bit and I have had a few more chances to watch the replays, I think these guys have it best. I initially thought, as a Max fan in the context of the championship, it was a bit of a silly move from Lewis and that he should have received more than 10 secs. However, looking back, I think while Lewis still holds a little bit more of the blame, it is nowhere near as black-and-white as I initially thought. I would probably now lay the blame 55-45 on Hamilton’s side. Whether that is enough to justify 10 seconds, 5 seconds, or even no penalty at all, I’m not knowledgeable enough to say.

    These incidents happen in sport, especially in this sport. Pretty much all the great rivalries feature one (or more): Senna vs Prost, Schumacher vs Hill, Schumacher vs Villeneuve, Schumacher vs McLaren (I think the Spa 1998 crash with Coulthard is worth counting), Schumacher vs Alonso, Hamilton vs Rosberg, Hamilton vs Vettel (if you count that Baku SC incident). It’s what makes these rivalries so exciting and interesting. However, whether Hamilton deserved a penalty or not, it did make the race much more exciting than if he had overtaken Leclerc in the pitstops and driven off into the sunset on his second stint.

    1. Schumacher crashed with alonso, when?

      Leclerc was lacking around 15 sec over a whole race distance compared to hamilton and likely verstappen, that was the car deficit, hamilton actually had a 12 sec penalty, which made the race very close, 15 sec would’ve been perfect but doesn’t exist, drive through is around 20.

      1. 12 sec as in they lost 2 sec in reaction time during the penalty.

      2. @esploratore1 I don’t recall Schumacher and Alonso ever actually coming together. I do remember one incident (may even have been at Silverstone actually) where Schumacher very aggressively defended against Alonso and forced him onto the grass – a Rosberg-style block before its time, maybe – but I feel like that was around 2003/4 before they were properly rivals.

        Drive-through would probably be worth around 15s at Silverstone because of the pit entry – I think Brundle said on commentary at one point that it was about 18s for a pit stop, which would correspond to 15s or so if you drove through the pit lane without stopping. However (and obviously) the stewards could not predict in advance how close it would be at the end.

  13. You Mean the Finnish Barrichello Battery Bottler has an opinion that favours his No.1 teammate?
    Alonso I understand, Leclerc more so cause he went off the track for leaving space and lost the position
    But Barrichello 2.0 just no

    1. Sorry, Barrichello is not in the same class as Bottas in the No.2 battle.

      1. And neither of them are Perez, who has ripped the No2 spot from under their noses. Told to stop racing despite gaining on those in front of him and give away his own race points and his teams, and his response is to touch his forelock and meekly comply.

        1. They let him get the fastest lap to steal the point from hamilton, it’s a hit back tactic, I’d have done it too.

    2. Is Bottas a noob?

  14. The Hamilton-Verstappen incident is the same as the Russell-Sainz incident in the sprint race. The guy on the inside missed the apex and hit the guy on the outside. I find it weird that suddenly the guy on the outside is supposed to give the guy on the inside more room in case he makes a mistake.

    There are two things which bother me more:
    1. While I agree that the consequences of an incident should not affect the punishment, I think the potential consequences should. Tapping someone’s rear wheel in Rascasse will have less potential consequences than doing the same thing in Copse. It is not right that both should carry the same penalty, because we should expect the drivers to be more careful in dangerous corners.
    2. With one or two teams and one or two drivers so far ahead of the field a ten second penalty does not have an effect, nor do the two penalty points. Hamilton and Verstappen will have learned that they can ram the other of the track without any consequences. Expect more missed apexes in the future.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      20th July 2021, 7:45

      @uzsjgb In normal overtaking rules that’s how it works (not sure what the stewards applied). The guy on the inside and sufficiently along side has the line.

      It’s really not that hard to understand if you actually think about it. A driver can not just adjust their line to go tighter after committing to their line. That’s just a physical impossibility. However they can go wider. See Leclerc.

      1. Rodric Ewulf
        20th July 2021, 16:49

        not sure what the stewards applied

        Just the rules of the sport, and in this case one that is basic, indeed. The reasonable rule to prevent accidents caused by people who feel they’re entitled over a racing line, without being in proper position to claim it. Do you think this sport is Formula 1 or a crashing contest? Not surprised if it’s the last, as you clearly don’t understand how F1 works.

  15. please correct the article. Leclerq called it a racing “inchident”, as he always does. The integrity of journalism is so important these days.

  16. Back in the day as a SCCA FF pilot, the rules were that the first car into the corner owned it. We were not required to change our line so as to make it easier for someone else to pass. Verstappen moved down on Hamilton. Hamilton was not at fault and the penalty was undeserved.

  17. Rodric Ewulf
    19th July 2021, 19:59

    Fernando Alonso on the incident: “It was an unfortunate moment of the race, but nothing intentional or nothing that any of the two drivers did wrong, in my opinion. So that was an unlucky moment, I guess.”
    This is not equal to unjustified penalty, that must be said. Fernando and other drivers might hold an opinion on that about if it was wrong or not, how much to blame, etc. but they actually didn’t brought into question who caused the collision, which is what Hammy fans are contesting so desperately. There’s no possible interpretation of the rules that will blur this conclusion. Anything else than it, one can disagree but at the same time simply respect different opinions, regardless of how strange that point of view might seem.

  18. The fact that even among those we’d call experts there isn’t consensus on who was at fault or if there was fault to be given, makes it pretty clear that this was a racing incident.

  19. Ok, gotta say this incident was particularly difficult to judge. So I, for once, congratulate the stewarding for a job fairly done in due time.

    Because on race day it appeared to me clear as day it was a racing incident.

    After I let it rest for a day, and in light of other images – as the Leclerc moment -, I perceive things differently now. Not only Hamilton still has the biggest responsibility but he was rightfully deemed worthy of a penalty.

    First thing defenders point out is that he drew alongside, which is inaccurate. The crash happened at Copse’s entrance, and Hamilton was never alongside at this point. The moment he drew alongside was an in-between moment when he chose to brake further and off the line whereas Verstappen already had braked to initiate the turning towards the racing line – as his right as the leading car -, leaving more than a car’s width space on the inside. So, he was racing hard, but perfectly clean, not even close to aggressive as Hamilton and his followers accused him of.

    Lewis, on the other hand, would never make the corner braking that late and still had time and space to avoid contact and chose not to. Not only he was committed, he accepted the risk of the collision, which indeed happened. Now, I do not think in any way he wanted to crash Verstappen out but there was no possible alternative without Verstappen letting him through, something impossible as Max was clearly in front when he entered Copse. This strongly suggests that at that particular moment Verstappen got in Hamilton’s head and, because of that, he made a misjudged call.

    The thing is, he got away unscathed from the incident he provoked, got a lenient penalty – that should’ve been a Drive Through, regardless of the outcome of the crash – and, most importantly, a potentially meltdown moment for him turned into full mental advantage with 25 clean-off points and mind games played post-race with the blessing of the British crowds supporting him.

    Lewis has the upper hand as this very moment.

    Now, the following act is to check if after this it’s not Hamilton who’s got into Verstappen’s head after all that happened. Because, besides Hamilton’s rebirth in the WDC, he has to face criticism comparing this to his blunder defending against Ocon, which albeit plastically similar, it is totally different on merit.

    I do hope the championship continues lit. With less controversy, of course.

  20. No, they are smart enough not to burn their hands. It’s almost as if Racefans is looking for proof it wasn’t Hamilton’s fault..

    It was, he got a penalty, end of story.

  21. What was it if not a racing incident? I mean apart from deliberate crashes or malicious moves almost all incidents during a race are racing incidents.
    But of course racing incident doesn’t mean that both drivers are equally to blame. Same here: Hamilton started a perfectly legal attack but unfortunately run wide and although the was given a significant amount of space he understeered into the car in front of him. Still his fault but still a racing incident.
    The outcome was bad luck for Verstappen though but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Time to move on.

    1. You failed to see the part where Max first went wide to the left then cut across.

      1. What wasn’t there can’t be seen. Verstappen eventually had to turn into the corner but always left space for a car and a half on the inside just like Leclerc did later.
        It was just the turn in angle and a heavy car with maybe still cool front tyres that didn’t allow Hamilton to take a tight enough line through the corner.
        But again that’s racing.

  22. Ferrari fan here and unbiased as can be. I enjoy this year’s title fight and have both Hamilton and Verstappen in high regard while disliking both of them.
    About the incident itself I have to say that something like that is racing incident at 100kph but at 290kph is disregard for the others safety. In light of that Verstappen already paid a high price for his actions a dnf and possible implications for the future regarding the engine allocation. On the other hand Hamilton didn’t. So for me what would be fairer is a black flag. That way Hamilton’s possible title wouldn’t be tainted, justice would be served as both would have been penalized for their actions and also we would be spared the tasteless celebrations.
    With the cherry on top ofc being a Ferrari win.

    1. Yes I know it is difficult to have Hamilton black flagged especially in Britain but even if the incident was 50/50 the punishment most certainly wasn’t. Obviously if Hamilton retired then the black flag would be unessecary. Obviously this is a political view that can’t be shared by the stewards.

    2. That is the fairest in terms of “you take what you give”, however that means they need to consider the consequences of incidents, which I’m all for, and don’t think I ever agreed with ignoring the consequences of incidents and only looking at the move.

      For example there were 5 sec penalties for relatively big infractions, such as jumping opponents like palmer on alonso at monza, or hulkenberg on someone else in abu dhabi which even had championship implications, and then 5 sec on verstappen for overtaking raikkonen while 50 cm on the corner on the inside in austin, really? What I’d have done would’ve been a 1 sec penalty for verstappen there, cause the infraction was incredibly minor, and force the driver to give back the position in the other 2 cases.

      Hamilton in this case black flag, the 2018 silverstone incident which sent hamilton from the back where raikkonen was given a 10 sec penalty, in the end of that they were 2nd and 3rd respectively, so raikkonen didn’t really end up in front of the one he span, so that was probably fair.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        20th July 2021, 7:52

        @esploratore1 Raikkonen driving into Hamilton was 100% Raikkonen’s fault and there was no way Hamilton could even have avoided that. In this case Hamilton was at worst slightly more than 50% to blame and Verstappen could have not cut into the apex and actually left Hamilton space. It’s just preposterous to jump on the whole “he tried to take him out” bandwagon that Horner prepared for you.

        Hamilton had to avoid being put into the wall by Verstappen in Spain. And won the race. Maybe Verstappen can learn to actually think while driving rather than driving with blinders on and hoping people jump out of his way. It’s just like cheating on things like tyre pressures, pit stops and flexible bodywork. At some point it does bite back and you end up with a DNF.

        And Pyllybilly, you clearly hate Hamilton a lot worse for taking the win from Leclerc.

        1. No I don’t hate him. You clearly have a short memory because by your logic I should hate Verstappen for Austria 2019. What I said is very simple. A 290kph crash is unacceptable when it was clearly avoidable thus both parties who share the blame should be penalized. Verstappen had a dnf a hospital visit and a destroyed engine while Hamilton had 10s.

    3. Yes we should wait until the end of the race and the positions are known, then decide who is the most deserving and rearrange the order as we see fit. For example whilst the stewards may see an accident as a 40/60 and issue an appropriate punishment, we can change that depending on where they finished and who we think is to blame. For example in Spain, Ham had to leave the track to avoid Max. So we can then decide that Max should be given a penalty; depending on where they finished of course. Obv this will all take time so maybe we can have a separate F1 show 2 hours after the race to decide who should have won. Perhaps get a sponsor?

  23. I Just think the end of Redbull dominance for 2021 has ended. It’s more likely that going forward, Mercedes and Ham will re assert their hybrid era dominance and take both championships

    1. Hamilton had out paced Verstappen on wellington stright , came from behind and wasn’t relying on DRS or slipstream to out pace him either. LH took the corrner behind verstappen into wellington and then out paced him to the corner. Only Verstappen’s barging tactics would have kept LH behind.

      Subconcisously MV knew LH had him, and so that ‘all or nothing’, kamikazi approach, could be seen as MV giving up. giving in.


    This shows the difference between the two drivers head to head on the two most significant corners up to the incident.

    Compare Hamilton giving room to Verstappen at the end of Wellington stright when he was clearly ahead, and Verstappen cutting across Hamilton at Copse. Look at where Hamilton was relateive to Verstappen, when Verstappens start to cut across. Verstappen should have yealed, the way Hamilton had done earlier, but decided Hamilton wasnt there. “i dont see you”.

    The fact that verstappen drives into Hamilton shows there wasn’t room for that cut across. At the point of contact it was Hamilton who making efforts to avoide the collision. He is the one reducing speed, and trying to get the car to turn in.

  25. People, lets stop with “I think this or I think that” aproach. There are rules and guidance directives. Hamilton was considerably alongside in the inside so, he was more tha entitled to go for that corner. In this situation it’s the car on thr outside who has to take a wider trajectory to make sure both cars make the turn. Now , it may result from this, that the outside car will lose track position but that’s racing. If we refer to fighting that was going on before copse, we can see there were a couple of times Lewis got to the corners way in front of Verstappen but instead of taking aggressively towards the apex from the outside he went wider because Verstappen was still lingering on the inside line. Verstappen should have done exactly the same thing if he had any intention to make that corner with Lewis on the inside. Instead he decided to veer off towards the apex very aggressively banking on Lewis pulling off.
    Concluding, Lewis did nothing illegal according to rules or guiding directives (since he was considerably alongside on the inside approaching the corner he gets to pick the racing line). Also 51g crashes are inherent to the nature of the sport, they happen whether Lewis is involved or not. No penalty was warranted, it’s undoubtedly a racing incident where the outcome was just one of four possible.

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