Grand prix

F1 British GP: Has Max Verstappen moved on from the controversial Lewis Hamilton incident? | F1

The two title rivals went head-to-head on the opening lap of last year’s British GP.

Hamilton got the run on Verstappen into the fast right-hander of Copse, attempting to overtake his rival on the inside of the corner.

The pair collided, spearing Verstappen into the barriers before being taken to the hospital for further checks, while Hamilton went on to win the race to get his title challenge back on track.

The incident was the first high-profile clash between the pair and set the tone for the rest of the season.

One year on, Verstappen leads the championship by a comfortable margin but Hamilton is only sixth overall.

Reflecting on the incident on Thursday at Silverstone, Verstappen said: “It was not the best Sunday for me but these things happen. You just look forward because just looking back, it’s not going to change anyway. I’ve had a lot of Sundays where I would have liked to have had a better result and of course, that was the same last year. What happened there is now behind and I just look ahead. 

“Of course, it brings memories but it doesn’t really influence what I’m doing right now. I’ve also hit the wall in other places. It is what it is.”

Verstappen admitted that he’s quickly forgotten the incident with Hamilton and insists there’s strong mutual respect between the pair.

“Well, I think that’s the beautiful thing about racing drivers, of course at the time you are upset,” he added. “But you can also quickly forget about it, move on, and race hard. If you look at how we are interacting also this year, it is behind us. Clashes happen, some are a bit more painful than others but you move on from it. 

“We just like to race each other on track. Of course this year it is not as much as last year but we have a lot of respect for each, including what happened last year.”

Verstappen and Hamilton haven’t gone wheel-to-wheel too often in 2022 with Mercedes struggling with their W13.

However, the Dutchman remains hopeful that more teams can join the fight at the front between Ferrari and Red Bull.

“It’s of course a completely different team and country, but I hope more teams can fight up front again,” he explained. “Lewis especially with Mercedes have been very dominant in the last few years and who knows, maybe this weekend they are back in the fight and that’s of course what a lot of people want to see. 

“But I would like to also see other teams being closer and really create a big show up front.”

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