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‘Hollow victory’: Lewis Hamilton wins after lap one crash sends Max Verstappen to hospital

Lewis Hamilton has claimed a “hollow victory” according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner after the Mercedes driver won the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton and drivers’ championship leader Max Verstappen were involved in a lap one crash that sent the Red Bull driver into the barriers and out of the race. 

The Dutch driver was taken to hospital with reported bruising while Hamilton recovered from a 10-second penalty to pass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the third-last lap to win.

Verstappen was defending his position from Hamilton as they went wheel-to-wheel into one of the fastest corners on the circuit, called Copse. 

Hamilton’s front-left wheel collided with the rear-right of Verstappen’s Red Bull on the opening lap, sending the Dutch driver flying into the barriers and resulting in a red-flag stopping the race. 

Despite being given a 10-second time penalty Hamilton was able to recover and take the chequered flag, reducing Verstappen’s championship lead to just eight points. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner called Hamilton’s victory “hollow”.

“Lewis Hamilton is (seven-time) world champion, he shouldn’t be making moves like that,” Horner said to Sky Sports UK.

“I hope Lewis is very happy with himself.

“I’m very disappointed that a driver of his calibre should make such a move like that.

“I don’t care what Lewis says … for me it’s a hollow victory.” 

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Hamilton however said he was not given enough space by Verstappen, cutting a cross him in the corner before the collision.

“I always try to be measured in how I approach, particularly with battling with Max, he’s very aggressive. And then today I was fully alongside him and he didn’t leave space,” Hamilton said after the race. 

“Regardless of whether I agree with the penalty, I take it on the chin and I just kept working.”

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen hops out of his crashed car after an accident on lap one of the British Grand Prix.(

Sky Sports UK via Kayo

)

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was the beneficiary of the crash, moving up into first place before the race was stopped.

From the re-start the Ferrari driver was flawless, holding the lead into the first corner and extending his gap to Hamilton by more than one-second.

Leclerc had a few worrisome moments when he reported that his engine had momentarily stopped.

But this was fixed quickly and Leclerc was able to extend his lead again out to two-seconds.

Charles Leclerc leading the 2021 British Grand Prix
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc put in a great drive to finish second at the British Grand Prix.(

Reuters: Andrew Couldridge

)

Once the pit stop phase was over, Leclerc had a 14-second lead over Hamilton who was in fourth.

But Hamilton was at his best in the closing 20 laps, picking off McLaren’s Lando Norris and teammate Valtteri Bottas before closing the gap to the Ferrari. 

In front of a home crowd of 140,000, the Briton urged his team to keep up the hard work as they battle for another championship. 

Daniel Ricciardo has best performance of the season to finish fifth 

Daniel Ricciardo looked as comfortable as he has all season in his McLaren, holding off the charging Ferrari of Carlos Sainz to finish fifth.

The Australian was under constant pressure after the pit stops from Sainz but never faltered at Silverstone.

Ricciardo said he was happy with his best result of the season, but said there was plenty of work still to do to bridge the cap to the cars at the front of the grid.

“There’s still definitely things to learn and to improve and work on,” he said.

“When I saw Carlos coming in that second stint (after the pit stop) he was so fast.

“I think pushing to defend allowed me to stay on the limit and get a bit more comfortable with the car.”

He finished behind his teammate Norris, who was exceptional throughout the grand prix to finish fourth.

That result moves Norris into third in the drivers’ championship.


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