Lewis Hamilton has vowed to contiuing racing “hard but fairly” after Max Verstappen strongly criticised him following the British Grand Prix.
Verstappen branded Hamilton “dangerous”, “disrespectful” and “unsportsmanlike” as he blamed him for their 190mph collision at Silverstone on Sunday.
The Dutchman was released from hospital last night, seven hours after the high-speed crash on the opening lap that earned Hamilton a 10-second penalty.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton recovered from fourth to pass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for victory with two laps remaining, slashing the championship deficit to Verstappen from 33 points to just eight.
“Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport. I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I’m glad to hear he is OK,” he said.
“I will always race hard but always fairly. My team showed grit and perseverance out there. It’s a dream to win in front of my home crowd.”
Following the crash, Verstappen was taken in an ambulance to the on-track medical centre and then to Coventry Hospital, 40 miles outside of Silverstone, for further checks and a CT scan.
His Red Bull team confirmed he was given the all-clear to leave “without any major injuries” late on Sunday night.
Earlier, Verstappen tweeted: “Glad I’m okay. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track.
“Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour but we move on.”
Hamilton rejects Horner’s call for apology
Hamilton also said he has nothing to apologise for after Red Bull principal Christian Horner said he put Verstappen’s life in danger.
Horner said: “His actions have left in jeopardy another driver’s safety and for me that is unacceptable.
“Every grand prix driver knows that a move at that corner – one of the fastest in Formula One – is a massive, massive risk.
“You don’t put a wheel up the inside without there being huge consequences. We are just lucky today that there wasn’t someone seriously hurt.
“What I am most angry about is just the lack of judgement, and the desperation in this move. It was never on.
“Lewis is a world champion that has won seven titles. It is an amateur’s mistake and a desperate mistake. Max is battered and bruised. It is the biggest accident of his career.”
But Hamilton said: “I don’t really have anything to say to Christian. The win doesn’t feel hollow.
“I don’t think I am in a position to have to apologise for anything. We are out there racing.
“I don’t agree with the stewards but I take my penalty on the chin and get on with my job. I am not going to whine about it.
“Everyone is going to have a different opinion and I don’t really care what people think so I just do what I do and I am really grateful for today.”