Verstappen: He kept on squeezing, squeezing me

12/09/2021
NEWS STORY

Insisting that there was plenty of room as they battled for position in Turn 2, Max Verstappen accuses Lewis Hamilton of "squeezing" him off.

Following a botched pit stop the Dutchman had already lost track advantage over his title rival. However, when the Briton also suffered an overlong stop and emerged just ahead of the Red Bull, it was almost inevitable that the pair would clash.

Hamilton moved across the track on the entry to Turn 1 and had the advantage, but into the second part of the chicane the Red Bull clouted the notorious 'sausage kerb' and was thrown into the air and over the Mercedes, the rear of the Dutchman's car eventually landing on Hamilton's Halo.

"We realized it was going to be close into Turn 1," Verstappen told Sky Sports. "He cut across after the white line and I had to go on to the green part to not touch. I went around the outside. And of course, he realized I was going for it. So he just kept on squeezing me.

"I didn't expect him to just keep on squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, because he didn't even need to," he added. "Even if he would have left me just a car's width, we would have raced out of Turn 2 anyway. And I think he would have probably still been in front. But he just kept on pushing me wider and wider. And at one point, there was nowhere to go.

"He pushed me onto the sausage kerb, and that's why, at the end of the day, we touched because of the rear tyre."

"I was racing as hard as I could, finally got past Lando," responded Hamilton. "I was in the lead, or time wise, it told me I was in the lead, so they pitted me.

"The pit stop was obviously slow, lost a couple of seconds, I think a second and a bit, whatever it is," he continued. "I came out, I saw that Daniel came past, Max was coming, I made sure I left a car's width on the outside for him.

"I went into Turn 1, I was ahead, and I was ahead going into Turn 2. Then all of a sudden, he was on top of me."

The world champion compared the incident to that on the opening lap, when they clashed at the second chicane.

"I was in exactly the same position, but I gave way, and that's racing," he said. "He didn't want to give way today. He knew that when he was going into 2 what was going to happen. He knew he was going over the kerbs. But he still did it.

"We'll speak to the stewards and see. But I don't really know what else to say."

Minded of the Silverstone clash, Verstappen was adamant that the two incident were entirely different and do not indicate some sort of worrying trend.

"Of course people automatically start talking about Silverstone, but these things happen," he said. "Of course, it was not nice at the time. But I think we're all professional enough to just get on with it and keep on racing each other."

Asked if he would speak to Hamilton, he replied: "I think we're professional enough to step over it and just keep on going."

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Published: 12/09/2021
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