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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both ‘have to take responsibility’ for preventable Italian Grand Prix crash, says Sir Jackie Stewart


Sir Jackie Stewart believes Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen must be responsible for the crash that saw them leave the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton and Verstappen collided for the second time in five races at Monza as their rivalry continues.

Hamilton was fortunate enough to get through the clash without serious injury
Getty

Verstappen was found at fault for the reconciliation and punished with a penalty of three grid places in the next round in Russia.

On lap 26 of 53, Verstappen approached the Variante Del Rettifilo at 225 mph as Hamilton exited the pit lane.

Verstappen attempted to squeeze past Hamilton at the right-left chicane, but left the track and headed for the sidewalks.

The Dutch driver was sent out of control and flew down Hamilton Road with the right rear wheel crushing the top of the Mercedes.

Fortunately, the halo protector, which sits above the driver’s head, absorbed the impact of the Red Bull.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton was able to walk away, complaining only of a stiff neck and pain.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both ‘have to take responsibility’ for preventable Italian Grand Prix crash, says Sir Jackie Stewart
The halo thankfully saved Hamilton from a serious injury
Getty

Stewart told talkSPORT: “It was yet another experience for the two pilots who were a little too eager to continue the work.

“It was a first part of the race and it’s not something you want to push too hard on to start.

“It’s a circuit where there is an opportunity to move onto one or two other areas.

“Like at Silverstone when there was a collision between the two drivers, I think those two cases could have been avoided.

“They were both too early in the race to really push that way and in situations where anyone could have been thrown upside down, upside down it could have been a very serious situation.

“It would have been very difficult to tell who was guilty. The governing body made a decision, but it was such a low penalty that only three places at the next Verstappen Grand Prix are expected to drop. It’s a very small penalty.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both ‘have to take responsibility’ for preventable Italian Grand Prix crash, says Sir Jackie Stewart
Verstappen left in anger after the incident, and was subsequently hit with a penalty
AFP

He added: “I think both drivers have to take some responsibility. It was a corner they all know because this corner just didn’t exist in my time.

“It was put in place because the race track was so fast and dangerous that they had to go through some slowdown procedures. That’s what this corner did.

Verstappen currently leads Hamilton by just five points in the neck-and-neck race.

When asked who he thinks could win the championship, Stewart added: “I think they (Mercedes) have the best package right now, but Red Bull has really shown itself to be a hot bet.

“I think it will be in between. Verstappen, I think he’s the fastest rider in the business now, but he’s still slightly in the puppy stage.

“At the same time Lewis may be nearing the end of his Formula 1 career so I think the future is more in Verstappen’s realm. But don’t count Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton is a very good driver.

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