Max Verstappen will have to serve his penalty at the Russian GP on September 26 as stewards, following a post-race investigation, ruled that he caused the collision that ended both the championship rivals’ races.
As the two drivers came together on Lap 26 of the Monza race after Verstappen, attempting to pass Hamilton around the outside of Turn 1 of the first chicane and the inside of Turn 2, hit a kerb and shunted into the Mercedes.
However, His Red Bull then landed on top of Hamilton, who was thankfully protected by the Halo safety device, before both cars ended beached in the gravel.
“I don’t fully agree with the penalty as I believe it was a racing incident,” said Verstappen.
But F1 Race Director Michael Masi told Sky F1: “The stewards assessment was that Lewis effectively had the corner, and the other element of it was that Max had other options where as we saw at numerous occasions today, drivers in similar types of scenarios took to the bumps beyond Turn 2 and re-joined the track.
“So it was sort of a combination of those matters and in handing down their decision it was that Max was predominantly to blame. So it wasn’t wholly Max’s fault, but that he was more at fault than Lewis at that particular occasion.”
Meanwhile, before the stewards’ verdict was revealed, the Dutchman had argued that Hamilton, who had just exited the pits, didn’t give him enough space.
“I didn’t expect him to just keep on squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, because he didn’t even need to,” he stated. “He just kept on pushing me wider and wider and at one point there was nowhere to go, he just pushed me onto the sausage kerb. That’s why, at the end of the day, we touched.
“You need two people to work together to make a corner and we are fighting for position. Unfortunately we touched. If one guy is not willing to work, what can you do?”