Max Verstappen hit back at a sly dig from Lewis Hamilton and claimed that it was good he had learned how to get to an apex at 37 years of age.
A full year may have passed since Verstappen and Hamilton’s infamous collision heading into Copse corner at the Silverstone track but it seems the scars are still a little bit sore.
The Dutchman was sent careering into the wall at 51Gs after Hamilton attempted to nip in on the inside of the corner.
Verstappen was airlifted to hospital while Hamilton received a 10-second time penalty but was still able to go and win the race.
A year on and while there was thrilling action, it was a lot less heated, prompting Hamilton to praise Charles Leclerc for his approach.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after securing a third-place finish, Hamilton said Leclerc had been “sensible” and “a lot different” to what he experienced last year.”
“Charles did a great job. What a great battle,” Hamilton said.
“Very sensible driver and clearly a lot different to what we experienced last year. In Copse for example, two of us went through there no problem.”
Having been made aware of his Mercedes counterpart’s comments, Verstappen hit back saying he was happy Hamilton had learned how to get to an apex.
“I think it’s great that, when you’re 37 years old, at some point you understand how to get to an apex,” he said when speaking to the Dutch press at the Red Bull Ring.
“He does learn, so that’s positive for the younger drivers: when you’re 37 you still are always learning!
“You can clearly see it in the images, of course. Charles gave him less space than I did last year, so that says enough. Moreover, he received a penalty last year, so you should not talk about that.”
Given Hamilton’s struggles this year, the rivalry has not been as prevalent, and certainly not as fiery, as it was this time last year. Verstappen did however say he thought the comments from the Mercedes driver were “clumsy” but that in the end “it has nothing to do with his performance.”
“He has to live with it himself,” the Red Bull driver said.
“I think it’s a bit clumsy but, in the end, it has nothing to do with my performance. I have to focus on what we’re doing here. I think we’re doing quite well this year, so we’ll keep working on that.”