Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen ‘knew what was going to happen’ in their Italian Grand Prix collision and “just didn’t want to give way”.
The Formula 1 title rivals both retired at Monza after tangling at the first chicane as Hamilton rejoined alongside Verstappen following his pitstop.
The incident – which was set up by Verstappen having a slow pitstop having been second in the opening stint while Hamilton was down in fourth – ended with the Red Bull on top of the Mercedes.
It followed a brush of wheels on the opening lap when Hamilton was trying to go around the outside of Verstappen at the second chicane, with Hamilton going over the run-off on that occasion.
Asked by Sky if Hamilton felt his driving in that first incident showed what Verstappen should’ve done in their late clash, the world champion replied: “Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s exactly the same scenario that happened in Turn 1 as happened in Turn 4, where I went round the outside,
“I was in exactly the same position, but I gave way. And that’s racing.
“He just didn’t want to give way today and he knew when he was going into Turn 2 what was going to happen. He knew that he was going over the kerb but he still did it.”
Hamilton said the impact took him by surprise.
“I was racing as hard as I could, finally got past Lando [Norris], time-wise they told me I was in the lead so they pitted me,” he said.
“The pitstop was obviously slow, lost a second and a bit, whatever it was.
“Came out, saw that Daniel [Ricciardo] came past, Max was coming.
“I made sure I left a car’s width on the outside for him. I went into Turn 1 and I was ahead. And I was ahead going into Turn 2.
“Then all of a sudden he was on top of me.”
The Red Bull launched heavily on the Mercedes’ halo, with Hamilton saying he was in a small amount of pain from the clash.
“I’m a little bit stiff, bit sore in the neck because it landed on my head. But I’ll be OK,” he said.