Hill unsurprised by “inevitable” incident between Hamilton and Verstappen

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 18: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda lead the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 18, 2021 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill said that he was unsurprised by the Silverstone opening lap incident between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, an incident he claimed was “inevitable.”

Hill felt Hamilton’s desperation to get ahead was due to what had happened in the Sprint Qualifying race, where Verstappen claimed pole position ahead of the Briton. Hill also admitted he had never seen Hamilton as aggressive as he was on Sunday.

“I’ve never seen Lewis drive that aggressively. I’m racking my brains to think of a time, the only thing I can come up with is Barcelona [2016] with when it was with Nico Rosberg,” Hill admitted. “I think it was inevitable, at some point there was going to be some coming together of the two, it was so aggressive,” he said on F1 Nation podcast.

“All these guys have got a perspective, they presume that the other driver should give way, they have this attitude which is that he has to give way because I’m better than he is. You get two people who think like that, you’re never gonna get them to go around a corner together. And actually, Lewis was very lucky he didn’t damage his front wing and lose it, get a puncture, on top of his 10-second penalty, which is something that has been contentious and I have had more calls and contact with my racing friends and friends of mine who have got an opinion on this.”

Hill also commented on the incident and was asked who he felt was at fault during the incident. Hill said that it was bound to happen and that it was a 50/50 fault. He also admitted that he was looking forward to how Micheal Masi, the FIA race director, will deal with racing incidents in the future.

“It’s 50/50 either side. It’s not a clear answer. Whether it was Lewis should have the penalty or Max should have got the penalty. I think they’re both incredibly uncompromising. And when you put two very, very uncompromising people into a 180 mph corner, something’s gonna happen. And it did,” Hill explained.

“Would the racing be better if Max had thought ‘Oh, I better not collide with Lewis because I would get 10 grid penalty in the next race’ or something like that? He might have given way. Sometimes it’s argued that the penalty never enters the head of the person committing the offense if it was an offense. Because the state of mind of the person racing, you don’t think about the consequences.”

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