Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen ‘did what they should do’ at Italian GP, Fernando Alonso claims

The two-time world champion refuted claims from both drivers that the other was at fault

Jamie Braidwood
Thursday 16 September 2021 13:37
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Max Verstappen's tyre rolls over Lewis Hamilton's head in terrifying new clip

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were “unfortunate” to collide at the Italian Grand Prix and the two drivers should not have done anything differently to avoid the controversial crash, Fernando Alonso has claimed.

Hamilton has said he was fortunate to be alive after Verstappen’s Red Bull landed on top of his car in the dramatic incident between the two world championship rivals at Monza.

Verstappen was hit with a three-place grid penalty for the next race on the circuit but has rejected the notion that he was responsible for the crash, insisting that Hamilton ran him off the road.

Hamilton countered by maintaining that the Dutchman did not leave him space on the track, in what was the latest racing incident between the pair. Hamilton and Verstappen also collided at the British Grand Prix, which resulted in the Red Bull driver crashing into the wall as Hamilton went on to win the race.

Speaking to reporters before Verstappen was penalised by race officials, Alonso said the collision at Monza was different to the incident at Silverstone and was a natural result of two competitive drivers fighting on the track.

“Well, they are there, both champions, and they are always fighting to the limit,” the two-time world champion said. “To be honest, it seems an unfortunate position and corner and curb. The car jumps a little bit, and then they touch tire with tire, and the rubber makes one car fly over the other. But it’s low speed, they are at 30 or 40kph, there is no danger.

“So I don’t think that was a big thing. Silverstone probably yes, but [Monza] was just a racing incident. I think Lewis tried to run wide in Turn 1 to force Max to maybe cut the corner. Max doesn’t cut the corner, stays on the outside, but then there is no possibility to make the corner on the inside for Turn 2. I think they both did what they should do.

The Spaniard also offered the comparison of several other drivers who touched on the opening corner of the track and said Hamilton and Verstappen were unlucky that their crash resulted in such an extreme outcome.

“Unfortunately, they touched each other. I saw the replay of the start as well, and [Antonio] Giovinazzi and [Charles] Leclerc, they touched in the same way. [Lance] Stroll and [Sergio] Perez, they touched at the start in the same way in Turn 1 and 2.

“But they didn’t touch wheel to wheel, rubber to rubber, tire to tire. So there is not the same outcome. But this is a very typical manoeuvre at Turn 1, Turn 2, and they have been unlucky that they touch tire with tire.

“They were just racing and in Turn 1, Turn 2, there are at least four or five cases that were very similar to what happened to them. Just separated by millimetres if they touch the floor, they touch the front wing or they touch the tire. They touch the tire, but it’s nothing too different that they did compared to five or six incidents that we saw at the start.”

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