Lewis Hamilton aims dig at Max Verstappen for 2021 Silverstone crash after praising Charles Leclerc

Verstappen memorably crashed into Copse corner on the opening lap of last year’s race after tangling with Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton aimed a dig at Max Verstappen after Sunday’s British Grand Prix as he praised ‘sensible’ Charles Leclerc following the Mercedes-Ferrari battle through the closing stages.

Red Bull’s Verstappen memorable crashed into Copse corner on the opening lap of last year’s race after tangling with Hamilton, who went on to win the race despite a 10-second time penalty.

Yet in Sunday’s dramatic Grand Prix at Silverstone, Leclerc and Hamilton battled superbly and fairly through the same corner and seven-time world champion Hamilton couldn’t help but make reference to last year as he praised the Monegasque driver.

“Charles did a great job. What a great battle,” Hamilton told Sky F1.

“Very sensible driver and clearly a lot different to what we experienced last year. In Copse for example, two of us went through there no problem. What a battle.”

Leclerc held his position through Copse corner in the final laps of Sunday’s race before Hamilton overtook him on the Hangar straight to claim third and a place on the podium.

Meanwhile, Verstappen’s race was curtailed by an early puncture and subsequent bodywork damage and the Championship leader ended up finishing seventh.

Hamilton and Verstappen clashed on the opening lap of last year’s British GP

Hamilton had earlier in the weekend urged British fans not to boo Verstappen after the world champion received jeers while being interviewed after qualifying on Saturday.

“I think we’re better than that,” he said. “They shouldn’t do that. Of course fans feel emotions and some may still feel the pain from last year. But I don’t agree.”

Despite the incident at Copse last year, it was eventually Verstappen who came out on top in 2021 to win the World Championship, albeit in controversial circumstances in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

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