Hamilton takes stunning win after crash with Max Verstappen
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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has put to rest any suggestion of a move to Mercedes in the near future, after being left with a bitter taste in his mouth after the British Grand Prix weekend.
The fire is still smoldering after the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen, which ruffled more than just a few feathers in the paddock, with both sides embroiled in a war of words in the aftermath of the weekend.
The pair collided on the opening lap of the race at Silverstone, spearing the Red Bull driver into the tyre barriers at a 180mph corner, with the Dutchman left visibly winded as he climbed out of the cockpit.
But the accident was only the start, with Red Bull bosses left fuming at Hamilton and team principal Christian Horner passionately backing his driver in the incident.
Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision, however, some individuals in the Red Bull camp believed it should’ve been a harsher penalty, with Helmut Marko suggesting the Briton should’ve received a one-race ban.
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Verstappen meanwhile was left with no points on the board and was forced to watch on as Hamilton recovered to cruise his way to victory in front of his home fans.
“I was very disappointed because of what happened in Silverstone,” Verstappen admitted, speaking to Scott Mitchell at The Race.
“But what happened afterwards really shows that we are just one big family with the support I had from everyone within Red Bull.
There had been some speculation that Verstappen would switch teams if Red Bull were unable to give him a championship-winning car.
McLaren Formula One CEO Zak Brown predicted that Max Verstappen and George Russell would form an all-new line-up at Mercedes in 2022, replacing Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“It seems to me that that would be the logical choice for Mercedes,” Brown said.
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“Given George’s relationship with Mercedes and he’s out of contract is my understanding at the end of the year, you have Lewis on a one-year contract and you have Max which I believe is a free agent at the end of the year.
“Whether that actually ends up happening or not, and I’m not trying to stir it, that’s kind of what it looks like would happen to me.
“I think that would be a common-sense move by Toto to make, but I have no insight if that will be what happens.”
Hamilton was the first to put that rumour to rest, signing a two-year deal with the seven-time world champions until 2024, with the second seat still up for grabs because Bottas’ contract remains up for renewal at the end of the season.
But Verstappen, who is contracted with Red Bull until the end of 2023, will not be filling that seat next season or any time in the near future it seems, with the 23-year-old confident in the choices he’s made.
“Sometimes you forget about these kinds of things, but that really shows how much we all care for each other.
“It was for me a confirmation that I’m at the right place.”
Verstappen trails Hamilton by eight points as Formula One breaks until the end of August.
Racing continues on August 29 as the paddock reconvenes for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
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