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Damon Hill

Hill issues 'fiendish' Verstappen warning

Damon Hill has offered his view on the Austrian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris

Norris Verstappen puncture
To news overview © XPBimages

Damon Hill believes Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' clash in the Austrian Grand Prix was "inevitable" and "robbed" fans of a thrilling climax.

Verstappen and Norris collided on lap 64 of 71 at the Red Bull Ring, with the former determined to be at fault by the stewards. The Red Bull driver received a 10-second time penalty, whilst Norris was penalised for exceeding track limits. 

In Norris' case, his five-second time penalty was irrelevant as he was forced to retire from the race after the contact with Verstappen at Turn 3. 

Before the collision, the duo had several close calls as Norris' pace appeared stronger. Verstappen ended up finishing fifth after he pitted for a fresh set of tyres.

Hill, the 1996 F1 champion, has taken aim at the reigning world champion's defensive tactics, warning the likes of Norris et al that care has to be taken with future fights.

"The tension built up beautifully, and I think we were a little robbed of a fantastic climax to the race," Hill said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast. "And we'll never know what the outcome would have been. 

"It looked to me like Lando had the pace and that's why Max had to do his...well, I'm going to call it fiendish defending. I'm sorry, because I think  Max has a reputation of not willingly giving up the lead without a massive fight. 

"And okay, if you know that about Max, then you have to approach him with a great deal of caution. But we have these rules about how you go about racing. Now the question is, did he break those rules?"

Norris was adamant after the race that Verstappen was entirely at fault for the clash, and conceded ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend that he would do nothing differently.

The British driver stressed after the race at the Red Bull Ring that he should have been given more room by Verstappen. 

However, Hill has questioned whether the McLaren driver could have gone further to the left and onto the kerbs on the outside of the third corner.

"Or did Lando get a little bit too defensive in his rights as a racing driver to stand his ground?" questioned Hill.

"Because I think there was an element of when he put his car in the position on the outside he could have gone onto the kerb. 

"But he decided no, I'm not moving. He spoke he's not supposed to change line, and he's supposed to give me enough room and the collision happened. It was sort of inevitable, it was sort of coming for a few laps."

Also interesting:

In the latest RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the Austrian GP and look ahead to the British GP. Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' shocking clash is a HUGE talking point, as is Toto Wolff's radio blunder!

Rather watch the podcast? CLICK HERE!

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