Monday, October 18, 2021
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Verstappen calls Hamilton crash critics ‘hypocrites’

Max Verstappen has hit back at those who suggested he did not check on title rival Lewis Hamilton after their collision at the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

After the incident, which took both drivers out of the race, Hamilton said he was surprised Verstappen did not check to see if he was OK. Hamilton’s car was stuck underneath Verstappen’s after the crash.

Hamilton later said the Halo cockpit protection device had saved his life.

Verstappen, who has a three-place grid penalty to serve at this Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix for his role in the collision, was annoyed at the implication that he had walked away. He said Hamilton attending the Met Gala in New York two days after the race proved he was fine.

When asked what he made of the suggestion he had not checked on Hamilton, Verstappen replied: “I mean, there are a lot of hypocrites in the world that’s for sure.

“I mean, I jumped out of the car, I looked to the left and he’s of course still trying to reverse, shaking the wheel, trying to get under away under my car so I think he was absolutely fine.

“Also, flying to America on Monday or Tuesday to attend a Gala, I think you only do that if you feel fine so I think already there, everything was all under control.”

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had also insinuated in the German media that Hamilton must have exaggerated his neck pain if he was able to attend the New York event. Hamilton, who spoke to the media several hours before Verstappen, was quick to point out the severity of the crash.

“I don’t really listen to what these individuals talk about. It’s natural when a car lands on your head that you’re going to have some sort of discomfort. I definitely felt some pain after the race and I said I was going to get it checked out.

“I worked with [his physio] Angela straight after the race and during the flight and had check-ups the next day and then we just worked on it through the race with acupuncture and everything. I didn’t say I was dying!

“I’m of course aware of the fact that just in a millisecond anything can happen and so I did feel grateful to come out of it not badly injured. We move on.”

Hamilton also suggested during his press conference that Verstappen is feeling the pressure of fighting for his first world championship.

Verstappen responded sarcastically to those comments: “Yeah, I’m so nervous I can hardly sleep! It’s so horrible to fight for a title, I really hate it, yeah.”

He then added, more seriously: “No, I think if someone really knows me, I’m very relaxed about all those things and I really can’t be bothered you know, I’m very chilled.

“It’s the best feeling ever to have a car, a great car where you go into every weekend and you can fight for a win. It doesn’t matter if you’re just leading a championship or not, those comments — I mean it just shows you that he doesn’t really know me, which is fine, I don’t need to know him, how he is fully.

“I just focus on myself and I really enjoy it out there at the front and of course hopefully we can do it for a really long time.”

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