Hamilton takes stunning win after crash with Max Verstappen
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Sir Jackie Stewart believes Max Verstappen needs to grow up and accept he isn’t “bulletproof” after his dramatic crash with Lewis Hamilton on Sunday. The F1 legend, who has been instrumental in improving safety measures in the sport, was angered by Verstappen walking away from the scene without checking on Hamilton after his Red Bull car came perilously close to clashing with the British driver’s head.
The smash came two months after the Dutchman was left concussed following a dramatic collision between the two rivals at Silverstone, and that day it was Hamilton who was handed a 10-second penalty after being deemed responsible.
However, this time around FIA officials have laid the blame at the feet of Verstappen, 23, and he’ll serve a three-place grid penalty in Sochi at the Russian Grand Prix a week on Sunday.
Stewart, 82, stopped short of labelling Verstappen solely responsible but questioned the Championship leader’s actions afterwards.
“Verstappen is taking longer than expected to mature,” Stewart told the Daily Mail.
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“Not even to go to see Hamilton after a serious accident when you have just driven over the top of the guy is something I don’t really understand. Especially when he is still in his car and remained there for a long time before getting out. Max has quite a lot to learn. But who will he listen to?”
Stewart himself is a three-time world champion, and warned Verstappen his tendency to find trouble on the track could stop him fulfilling his potential.
“He’s very, very good. He’s probably the fastest driver on the grid now, but to be a proper champion you cannot be entangling yourself in crashes all the time.
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“If I were their team principals, I’d tell them, ‘For Christ’s sake, don’t do it again’. Just because you are leading the world championship, it doesn’t mean you are bulletproof.”
Stewart however, remains unconvinced that race stewards made the correct decision afterwards.
“The stewards have more information, but if they were so certain Verstappen was entirely to blame then why does he only get a three-place penalty?
“‘If it weren’t for the halo, Lewis could have died, and the supposed culprit only gets a slap on the wrist!”
Inevitably, both drivers aired contrasting versions of the crash, which Red Bull chief Christian Horner labelled a “racing incident.”
Hamilton, 36, accused Verstappen of refusing to give way despite knowing he was about to cause a dangerous collision between the two cars.
For his part, Verstappen stated that Hamilton “kept on squeezing” him and said he was powerless given the British driver was “not willing to to work” to make the corner.
The F1 travelling party heads to Sochi the weekend after next, with Verstappen still holding a five-point lead over his title rival after they both didn’t finish the race at Monza.
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