Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been involved in a collision at the Brazil Grand Prix.
There was early drama at Interlagos when contact between Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen prompted a safety car, but when the race restarted on lap six, the two rivals came together. Amid the drama, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also went into the wall.
The incident forced Verstappen back into the pits for a new front wing on his Red Bull car, while he was also handed a 5-second penalty for his troubles. The reigning world champion was clearly blaming Hamilton over team radio though, ranting “he left me no space.”
In the aftermath of the clash, Hamilton ran over some of the debris from the Dutchman’s car. However, his Mercedes vehicle appeared largely unscathed as he continued his bid for a first F1 win of the season.
Verstappen dropped down to 17th following his impromptu pit visit and then his penalty, leaving him in danger of missing a podium finish for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix in April. And fans were left lamenting the refusal of either pair to give ground before they made contact.
“Hamilton and Verstappen. Sigh. What a waste. Both in a great position but they just won’t back down. Racing incident, let’s not spoil it all with a penalty for either,” tweeted Rich Cassidy, with his plea soon falling on deaf ears.
“WTF1 presenter Matty Gallagher added:Name something more inevitable than Hamilton and Verstappen making contact,” while @SportrmpMusty observed: “Max Verstappen hasn’t had a collision in wheel to wheel racing this season until Hamilton turned up against him. Make of that what you will.”
Indeed, the incident brought back memories of last season’s title race, where Verstappen and Hamilton were involved in numerous racing incidents as they battled for the Championship, colliding at both Silverstone and Monza. They also made contact in Saudi Arabia but both managed to remain on the track.
Max Verstappen wasn’t the only driver to be sanctioned in Interlagos. Lando Norris was also given a time penalty for his role in the incident which scuppered Leclerc.