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AFP
July 19, 2021

Hamilton wins ‘hollow’ British Grand Prix

AFP
July 19, 2021

Hamilton wins ‘hollow’ British Grand Prix

SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom: Lewis Hamilton revived his Formula One title defence by winning the British Grand Prix for the eighth time on Sunday despite a 10-second penalty after he collided with Max Verstappen, knocking the championship leader out of the race.

Roared on by a crowd of more than 140,000, Hamilton attempted to overtake Verstappen on Copse corner on the first lap instead sending the Red Bull careening off the track and into the barrier.

Charles Leclerc grabbed the lead but, despite having to add 10 seconds to a pit stop, Mercedes star Hamilton caught the Ferrari and overtook at Copse on lap 50 of the 52-lap race.

Verstappen, meanwhile, was taken to hospital “for further precautionary tests”, said Red Bull.

“I hope Lewis is very happy with himself,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “That’s a hollow victory.”

Hamilton’s win ended Red Bull’s streak of five straight victories to cut Verstappen’s lead in the championship to eight points.

Monegasque Leclerc was second, 3.81sec back to revive Ferrari’s season.

The second Mercedes, driven by Finn Valtteri Bottas was third, ahead of the McLarens of Briton Lando Norris and Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton insisted his attempt to overtake Verstappen was legitimate.

“Always try to be measured in my approach, especially battling with Max. He’s very aggressive,” Hamilton said.

“Today I was fully alongside him and he did let me into space.”

Hamilton was assessed a 10 second penalty but took it during a pit stop when running second and came back on to the track in fourth place.

“Regardless of whether I agree with the penalty I just take it on the chin,” he said.

“I’m not going to let anything get in the way of the crowd’s enjoyment of the weekend and the national anthem and the British flag.”

‘Blame Hamilton’: Verstappen in hospital after collision

Max Verstappen crashed out of the race after a first-lap collision with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen’s Red Bull careened off the track and into the barriers as he was knocked out of the race. His Red Bull team tweeted that he has been taken to hospital for further precautionary tests.

“Thank god he’s walked away unscathed,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told the race director.

Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty, which he could take during a pit stop.

Hamilton made several attempts to overtake and tried to cut inside on Copse corner. As Dutchman Verstappen turned he hit the front tyre of the Mercedes, and his Red Bull flew across the gravel and into the barriers.

The race was suspended with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the lead as crews worked to remove Verstappen’s car and the stewards reviewed the incident.

Verstappen waved to the crowd before climbing into an ambulance.

“Following an assessment by the trackside doctors at Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, Max Verstappen has been taken to a local hospital,” said Red Bull’s tweet.

During the pause in the action the teams and drivers involved lobbied race organisers and the stewards both in person and on the radio.

Team principals Toto Wolff of Mercedes and Horner both visited the officials’ room in the pit lane.

Hamilton pleaded his case in a radio chat with his team.

“I was ahead coming in there,” he said. “It was my line. I was giving the guy space.”

He was backed up by call from the Mercedes pit lane to race director Michael Massey.

“I’ve had a chance to look at that footage. Lewis was significantly alongside on the inside of turn nine.”