History repeats itself in Formula 1. After the first episode in Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided each other once again, during last sunday’s Monza Grand Prix. The final result was a double DNF, a McLaren 1-2 for the race with Daniel Ricciardo crowned as a race winner, and a lot of controversy. Verstappen was penalized by the FIA: the ducthman will face a grid penalty to serve during following event, the Russian Grand Prix.
Monza GP: what happened between Hamilton and Verstappen?
The incident happened at lap 26. Hamilton was coming out of the pits after his stop, while Verstappen was approaching the frontstretch. The englishman was aware his rival was coming, so he ran wide, to block his passing attempt. But “Super Max” did not let him go. The two rivals were side by side at the first chicane, the “Variante del Rettifilo”, which is not wide enough for two racecars. A contact between the 44 Mercedes and the 33 Red Bull was unavoidable. Both cars went into the gravel, where the Red Bull jumped on the Mercedes with a dangerous angle. The right rear tire went close to hit Hamilton’s helmet but, thankfully, both the roll bar and the Halo device did their job perfectly. Both drivers climbed out of their respective cars unscathed, but they were out of the race. Controversy followed.
Hamilton and Verstappen blamed each other during their post-race interviews. The seven-time champion accused the rival for not giving him enough room at the chicane. The Red Bull driver replied, accusing the defending champion for having squeezed him wide at the frontstretch. It’s hard to say who was wrong, but we are sure what really caused this mess. Just like last time at Silverstone, at Monza none of them wanted to give up an inch, for a challenge which is becoming more and more personal. The FIA Steward Panel reviewed the action, but it took two hours before a decision was made. Verstappen will take a 3-place grid penalty for the next race, the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi. This could be an issue for Max’s championship hopes but, surprisingly, Red Bull will not appeal against the penalty. Can we expect a third clash before the season ends?