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Formula 1

Hamilton 'proud' of stewards for setting penalty precedent

Lewis Hamilton has praised the stewards for giving Max Verstappen a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix, saying it sets a precedent going forward.

Verstappen Hamilton Monza crash
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To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has praised the stewards for making the call to penalise Max Verstappen for their clash during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The two title rivals went wheel-to-wheel at the first chicane on Lap 26 of Sunday's race, with a failed attempt at a pass from Verstappen seeing the pair clash at the apex of Turn 2, and pitching the Red Bull over the top of the Mercedes.

Speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, after the stewards awarded Verstappen a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton praised the decision of the officials.

Having been left fuming by Verstappen's unwillingness to yield in battle, Hamilton said a precedent has now been set to discourage aggression.

"I'm ultimately proud of the stewards, I think," Hamilton commented.

"I need some time to really reflect on on it, but I think it definitely sets a precedent, and I think it's important for us moving forwards, for the safety of the drivers, that there are rules set in place."

Hamilton explained that, in his opinion, he was entitled to the corner at which Verstappen ended up colliding with him.

"Every single driver, past and present, will try to hold on to his position," he said.

"Of course, when you're wheel-to-wheel going into a corner and the car is still alongside you on the outside, then eventually you have to concede and give extra space.

"When the car's not ahead of you, and there is a rule that the driver who is ahead, it's his corner. Eventually, the driver has to concede.

"I definitely do think we need to be looking into this and making sure that the right decisions are being made so that we... no one wants to see anyone get injured. And if we can put some better protocols in, maybe we can avoid this sort of stuff for the future."

Admitting to feeling a bit shocked by how the incident had played out, with the Red Bull's rear-right wheel scraping across his helmet, Hamilton said he needed time to reflect.

"Well, it's a big shock. I've been racing a long time and sometimes... we're taking risks out there all the time," he added.

"I guess it's only when you experience something like that, that you get that real shock of how you look at life, and realise how fragile we are."

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