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Max Verstappen

Verstappen: Hamilton left me with 'nowhere to go'

The Red Bull driver feels that Lewis Hamilton "kept on squeezing" him, which led to their incident at the Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen Hamilton
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen believes Lewis Hamilton was at fault for the pair's collision during the middle of the Italian Grand Prix, which led to both drivers retiring from the race.

Hamilton exited the pit lane following a slightly slow pit-stop as Verstappen went for an overtake around the outside of the Mercedes driver at Turn 1.

The championship protagonists collided at Turn 2 as Verstappen's Red Bull was pitched over the top of Hamilton's Mercedes, their cars coming to a halt in the gravel trap.

"We realised it was going to be closing going into Turn 1," Verstappen explained to Sky Sports.

"He cut across after the white line and I had to go onto the green part to not touch [him].

"I went around the outside, he realised I was going for it, and he just kept on squeezing me, and I wanted to work with him because I wanted to race.

"Of course, people then automatically talk about Silverstone, but these things happen. It was not nice at the time, but I think we're all professional enough to just get on with it and keep on racing each other.

"I didn't expect him to just keep on squeezing, squeezing, squeezing... because he didn't even need to. Even if he would have left me just the car's width, we would have raced out of Turn 2 anyway and I think he would probably still be in front.

"He just kept on pushing me wider and wider and at one point there's nowhere to go. He just pushed me off to the sausage kerb and that's why at the end of the day we touched because of the rear tyre making contact with Lewis' tyre."

Verstappen and Hamilton nearly clashed on the opening lap at the second chicane, with Hamilton taking to the run-off claiming that he had been "pushed off".

Championship leader Verstappen was asked whether he could have avoided the race-ending collision at Turn 2 in a similar way to Hamilton's excursion on lap one.

"I don't think you can judge them exactly the same because he just kept squeezing and squeezing while I was really alongside," said Verstappen.

"You need two people to work together to make the corner. If one guy is not willing to work, it's not going to happen.

"We are fighting for position and unfortunately we touched. It's very unfortunate what happened today, nobody likes to see that."


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F1 2021 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier