George Russell, Williams, Silverstone, 2021

No malice in Hamilton’s collision with Verstappen – Russell

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Mercedes junior driver George Russell gave a strong defence of Lewis Hamilton over his collision with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team has requested the stewards review their decision on the incident. Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty for the clash which he served during the race, which he went on to win.

Russell, who is under consideration by Mercedes as Hamilton’s potential team mate for the 2022 F1 season, is adamant there was no foul play on the world champion’s part.

“In my view, that was absolutely a racing incident,” said Russell, “and there are no sort of rules in that aspect, I’d say, that can say who is right or who is wrong, because it’s just one of those things. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, it’s just a racing incident.”

Hamilton was justified in his attempt to pass Verstappen at Copse when the pair tangled, Russell insisted.

“Lewis is one of the cleanest and fairest racers out there, always, and there was nothing malicious in the attempt because there was a clear opportunity.

“Obviously the consequences were huge and I’m very glad to see Max was relatively fine following the crash. But these racing incidents are a difficult one to adjudicate on. I don’t think there needs to be anything any clearer in that specific scenario, because it was, for me, just purely a racing incident.”

Formula 1’s sporting regulations offer the stewards a range of sanctions for incidents, including drive-through and stop-go penalties which would have cost Hamilton more time. However Sebastian Vettel said he didn’t believe these should apply to this collision.

“It’s a difficult one,” said the Aston Martin driver. “There’s always a mix, I think on one hand you can argue ‘no’, on the other hand, ‘yes’. So I think it’s a case-by-case thing.

“I think the stewards did what they thought was right and I think the penalty they gave is, I believe, the hardest penalty that they can give.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “No malice in Hamilton’s collision with Verstappen – Russell”

  1. Don’t think vettel is very informed, the hardest they can give a 10 sec penalty? He himself got a stop and go for a less dangerous episode, the difference is it was purposeful.

    1. I believe he is talking about this collision, he thinks this is the hardest penalty they could for this type of collision.

      1. Probably what he meant, yes, there’s the episode with ocon taking out verstappen when he got a stop and go, the difference is he was lapped, there’s raikkonen-hamilton in silverstone 2018 and it was a 10 sec penalty, similar dynamic as this but much less serious outcome (just a spin), which enabled the victim to finish the race 2nd.

        1. The outcome of the incident is not taken into consideration! Never has been and never should be. So the 10 sec penalty is perfectly correct given incidents of a similar nature.

    2. Don’t think vettel is very informed

      The internet is a very funny place indeed. Imagine a random keyboard warrior confidently saying this of a 4 time WDC.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Russell.

    1. Your also running for a job at Mercedes team?

  3. Russell will say whatever Toto tells him too…

    1. So what did Toto say to George. Say roughly the same as Alonso, Ricci, Norris, Bottas, Haikkinen, Montoya, Palmer, Chandhok, Wurz, Vettel, etc?

      1. Montoya’s response was the best, as he is the one who once titled his opponent ‘blind or stupid’ when sarcastically complaining about being run off the road by someone on his inside.

      2. Interesting how you collect names without understanding some of the viewpoints there.
        Time for new glasses?

        1. Are you offering your darkly tinted orange glasses?

          1. Both of you don’t like eachother, right?

  4. Russell goes out of his way to tell people he is a Mercedes driver and needs to keep Mercedes’ interest in mind at all times; what else is he going to say? Russell’s view on this is not the FIA’s, as shown by himself being penalized for colliding with a driver in the same race weekend and the FIA being pretty clear in their motivation for penalizing Russell’s Mercedes colleague.

  5. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    29th July 2021, 17:30

    Gee, he must really want that Mercedes seat huh?

  6. Not sure Albon would agree to that…

    Reply moderated
  7. Things went wrong on the ramp.

  8. “Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

    Toe the line, George, there’s a good boy 🙄

  9. Really objective opinion indeed.

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