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Damon Hill

Hill: I've never seen Hamilton drive so aggressively

Damon Hill believes that Lewis Hamilton was in full attack mode when he and Max Verstappen made contact on the first lap of the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton Verstappen start 2021 Silverstone
To news overview © Mercedes

F1 World Champion Damon Hill believes that a collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen was inevitable at some point, and pointed out that he didn't think he'd ever seen Hamilton drive as aggressively against Verstappen as the first lap at Silverstone.

Hill, speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, outlined that he felt Hamilton's desperation to get ahead of Verstappen was due to what had happened in the Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday, where the Dutch driver took the lead and was able to control the race.

"I think it was inevitable, at some point there was going to be some coming together of the two, it was so aggressive," Hill said.

"I've never seen Lewis drive that aggressively. I'm racking my brains to think of a time, the only thing I can come up with is Barcelona [2016] with when it was with Nico Rosberg.

"It was full on attack mode. And I do wonder whether it was something to do with what happened the previous day in the sprint when he lost pole position."

With the podcast revealing that Hamilton supposedly told his Mercedes team he wasn't going to let Verstappen 'do that again' after the Dutch driver pushed him off at Turn 1 at Imola, Hill said Hamilton was never going to get around the outside of such a corner and that it's more likely the two uncompromising personalities just happened to meet at Copse.

"Honestly, I saw Lewis trying to go around the outside at Turn 1 at Imola, and it was wet, he was never going to get away with that," Hill said.

"All these guys have got a perspective, they presume that the other driver should give way, they have this attitude which is that' he has to give way because I'm better than he is'. You get two people who think like that, you're never gonna get them to go around a corner together. And actually, Lewis was very lucky he didn't damage his front wing and lose it, get a puncture, on top of his 10 second penalty, which is something that has been contentious and I have had more calls and contact with my racing friends and friends of mine who have got an opinion on this.

"It's 50/50 either side. It's not a clear answer. Whether it was Lewis should have the penalty or Max should have got the penalty. I think they're both incredibly uncompromising. And when you put two very, very uncompromising people into a 180 mph corner, something's gonna happen. And it did."

Asked whether he would consider the crash as a racing incident, Hill said he wondered whether the threat of bigger penalties might have brought about a more cautious approach.

"Is this contact sport?" he questioned.

"I think that the question I've been asking, because we had a similar situation with Lando and Checo in Austria, the question was put whether or not Michael Masi is trying to introduce a new set of ways of looking at which is that you're supposed not to make contact, you're supposed to always give room if you've got a guy on the outside.

"Would the racing be better if Max had thought 'Oh, I better not collide with Lewis because I would get 10 grid penalty in the next race' or something like that. He might have given way. Sometimes it's argued that the penalty never enters the head of the person committing the offense, if it was an offense. Because the state of mind of the person racing, you don't think about the consequences."

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