F1 clash between Hamilton and Verstappen ‘inevitable’ – Shovlin

Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin believes an accident between Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen was “inevitable”.

F1 clash between Hamilton and Verstappen ‘inevitable’ – Shovlin

Hamilton and Verstappen’s first-lap collision at the British Grand Prix lit the fuse on their title battle, leading to fierce debate throughout F1 over who was to blame for the incident.

Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty after the stewards deemed him to be predominantly to blame for causing the collision at Copse, which resulted in a 51G crash for Verstappen.

After serving the penalty in the pits, Hamilton was able to fight back to score his eighth Silverstone victory, cutting Verstappen’s advantage in the championship down to eight points in the process.

Hamilton and Verstappen have enjoyed a number of close wheel-to-wheel battles already this year, but Silverstone marked the first time they have made significant contact. The duo came close to touching a number of times on the opening lap in the lead-up to their collision, particularly at Brooklands as Verstappen defended the inside line.

Speaking after the race, Mercedes trackside engineering director Shovlin said that the aggression shown by Verstappen had previously forced Hamilton to back out of battles, meaning an incident such as this was inevitable.

“If you look at the sprint race, [and] if you look at the opening lap of the main race, Lewis was constantly having to back out of it to avoid a collision,” Shovlin said. “He was able to put his car into a position where he could stand his ground.

“Max drives aggressively and it's inevitable that, one day, we're going to get an accident. But we were pleased with the job Lewis did, and slightly disappointed to get the penalty but just relieved we could still win the race.”

Read Also:

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner fumed over the penalty handed out by the stewards, calling it “menial” after Hamilton was able to recover and win the race to cut Verstappen’s championship lead.

The incident has led to comparisons to previous crashes between title rivals, most famously involving Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at Suzuka in 1989 and 1990.

Asked if he thought that a crash between Hamilton and Verstappen was inevitable, Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff said it was “a situation you have all seen in the past when great drivers race each other”.

“When nobody is prepared to give in then this kind of situation can happen,” Wolff added after the race. “But for me it takes two to tango.

“This championship, it was always very intense, because we were fighting with everything we have in order to hold onto this championship, while knowing we are not as performing as Red Bull and Honda.

“Therefore, we’ve had big points losses in the past and today we scored big points. So that is always balancing itself out.”

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren set for boost in Ferrari F1 fight with Hungarian GP upgrades

Previous article

McLaren set for boost in Ferrari F1 fight with Hungarian GP upgrades

Next article

Britain’s lost F1 hope: Paul Warwick remembered

Britain’s lost F1 hope: Paul Warwick remembered
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021