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Formula 1

Horner: Verstappen was 'knocked out' in Silverstone crash

Red Bull's Christian Horner has spoken about "the biggest accident in Max Verstappen's career", saying the Dutch driver was "knocked out" when he crashed at Silverstone earlier this year.

Christian Horner has spoken about Max Verstappen's reaction to his Silverstone crash earlier this season, saying the Dutch driver felt he had let Red Bull down after a collision between himself and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen was racing with Hamilton into the high-speed Copse corner when the pair made contact at the apex. Verstappen was sent flying off into the gravel and suffered a huge impact with the tyre barriers. He was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, while Hamilton went on to claim victory after being given a time penalty for the clash.

Speaking about the incident, Horner said that Verstappen had been knocked out by the impact but quickly recovered.

"He was, obviously, massively frustrated with the Silverstone outcome, because he'd done the hard work," Horner told Channel 4.

"He'd won the Sprint race, he got the pole for the main race, for the Grand Prix, and having held the start... P2 had been an advantage all weekend there, [but] he managed to hold the start.

"It obviously got pretty tasty down the Wellington Straight and then, of course, the accident. It was a massive accident, 51G. [It] broke the seat, I think it knocked him out, and it was, for sure, the biggest accident of his career.

"That was tough for him and he was disappointed that he let the team down, that it was within the budget cap world that we are, [so] that's a huge amount of accident damage as well.

"But he quickly brushed himself down and said on Monday, 'If I had to do a race again today, I could do it. Battered and bruised, it would be a bit sore, but I could do it'."

Verstappen and Red Bull were critical of the Mercedes celebrations after winning at Silverstone, with Hamilton adjudged predominantly to blame for the crash.

But the shoe was on the other foot at last month's Italian Grand Prix, when the pair collided again. On that occasion, Verstappen drew public criticism for not checking on Hamilton, but Horner explained that his driver never had any doubt about Hamilton's condition.

"I think it's very different," said Horner, comparing the two incidents.

"Max at Silverstone hit the wall at 51G, at 160 miles per hour, knocked out, airlifted to hospital. It's a big difference between that and the incident [at] Monza, where he could feel Lewis reversing while he's still in the car, the engine still running!

"He knew Lewis was absolutely fine. Indeed, the Medical Car didn't even see the necessity to visit the scene. So I think it was a completely different scenario.

"Of course, big things get made of this, those PR machines that go into motion, but it was a racing incident. He knew Lewis was absolutely fine. He could feel him trying to reverse out the gravel. So he was just disappointed that he'd lost an opportunity of a great result in Monza."

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