Lewis Hamilton was responsible for Max Verstappen’s crash during British Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone claims

Lewis Hamilton was responsible for a 180mph crash with Max Verstappen at Silverstone, emphasizes former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone…who insists ‘the punishment didn’t fit the crime’ – but now thinks Brit will WIN the world title after winning regaining ‘edge’

  • Max Verstappen crashed into the tire wall at Corpse corner at 180 mph
  • The Dutchman escaped unharmed while Lewis Hamilton won the race
  • Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton was to blame
  • Hamilton’s win reduced Verstappen’s world championship lead to eight points

Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton was responsible for the 180mph crash that sent Max Verstappen to hospital during Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

The world championship contenders collided on the first lap at the super-fast Copse corner at Silverstone, with the Dutchman making a corner, who then spent six hours in hospital in Coventry before being released after precautionary testing.

Hamilton won the race under controversial circumstances to narrow his deficit on the world championship list to eight points. It was his eighth win at the Northamptonshire circuit and by far his most controversial.

Hamilton won the race in controversial circumstances - Ecclestone says Hamilton should be blamed

Bernie Ecclestone (R) believes Lewis Hamilton was responsible for British Grand Prix crash

Speak with Sports postEcclestone said, ‘Who was to blame? You have to say Lewis.

“We used to say it was one of those things, a racing incident. It was clear that everyone was trying their best to win the championship.

“But if the stewards had to intervene, they would have had to give Lewis more than 10 seconds. It should have been 30 seconds.

Lewis was not in the front when they collided. It wasn’t his corner. He was almost a car length behind. That’s why he hit him from behind and not from the front.

“Ten seconds wasn’t good. The punishment did not fit the crime.

The World Championship contenders collided with the super-fast Copse on the opening lap

The World Championship contenders collided with the super-fast Copse on the opening lap

Spectators were shocked when dust flew over the fence after the fierce collision

Spectators were shocked when dust flew over the fence after the fierce collision

“If you have to give a sanction, which in some ways they didn’t need to, this was not the right decision – it was not enough.”

Ecclestone’s views were shared by Verstappen’s father Jos – a veteran of 107 F1 races – who said Hamilton should have been disqualified.

Verstappen Snr, 49, said: “It’s really unacceptable what Hamilton has done.

Max gave him space and stood in front of him. You cannot overtake on the inside of Copse.

“A ten second penalty is really ridiculous. As far as I’m concerned they should have banned him from the race.’

Verstappen’s Red Bull team is considering a protest against Hamilton’s 10-second penalty before the next race in Hungary.

Verstappen flew off the track after the incident before his car crashed into the tire barrier

Verstappen flew off the track after the incident before his car crashed into the tire barrier

After Hamiton’s win at Silverstone, Mercedes is now just three points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

And it is clear that Red Bull is looking to appeal the stewards’ verdict, which they believe is too lenient.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “There are rights available to us. We’ll look at it and talk about it.’

But Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff moved to bolster his star driver’s reputation.

“It’s a seven-time world champion, defending his legacy and taking on an emerging talented driver,” said Wolff.

Red Bull man Verstappen was soon able to climb out of the wreck after the sickening thud

Red Bull man Verstappen was soon able to climb out of the wreck after the sickening thud

‘We have seen that in the past and it can lead to a collision. As in many other sports, it takes two to tango.

“There’s a rule in Formula 1 that if the front of your car is more than halfway through the other car, it’s your corner, and Lewis was way beyond that, so the other driver should have left him some space.”

F1 godfather Ecclestone, 90, said before the race Hamilton has lost his ‘fight’.

But he now thinks the Stevenage-born racer has rediscovered his mind following Sunday’s action in front of the 140,000 crowd at Silverstone.

Hamilton won controversially and narrowed the championship points gap to eight points

Hamilton won controversially and narrowed the championship points gap to eight points

He said: “Lewis has got his act together and I think now he will win the title. He had lost a lead before Sunday, but he did what he had to do.

He has just signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes. The reason he did it was that he thought he would need an extra season to break Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.

“But I can guarantee you that this incident has regained his confidence in a way that it hasn’t been there all year. He has a better chance than before. It gave him a lift and it’s back to the old Lewis.”

Advertisement

.