The recently concluded Italian Grand Prix threw up another major moment in the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Heading into Turn 1 on Lap 26, the pair crashed into each other in dramatic fashion, ending both their races.
Over the course of this season, both drivers have shown neither are ready to give an inch to the other, and Monza proved this fact. While the debate on who deserves the blame rages on, McLaren’s latest race winner Daniel Ricciardo shared his thoughts on the incident.
Daniel Ricciardo believes frustration took Max Verstappen over in Monza
Ricciardo enjoyed his most successful weekend since joining McLaren this season. After qualifying fifth for Saturday’s sprint race, the Australian secured a front row start for Sunday’s race. He didn’t stop there, overtaking Verstappen in the very first lap and staying there to record McLaren’s first win in nine years.
Recently, the Honey Badger appeared on the Pardon My Take podcast. When asked about the crash involving Verstappen and Hamilton, he suggested the Dutchman carried frustration from Silverstone, which may have led to the crash.
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crash out of the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini
He said, “I know Max, like I was teammates with him for a few years. He’s a competitor, and he’ll leave it on the track and that’s it. Obviously, I guess he still probably carried a little bit of, maybe like frustration, or anger, or emotion from Silverstone.
“So, maybe that was the reason he was like, ‘Stuff this, I’m just going to walk away.’”
Ricciardo believes Verstappen saw Hamilton was okay before walking away
Following the crash, cameras caught Verstappen walking straight off the track, which made it seem like he ignored Hamilton. However, Ricciardo believed the Dutchman seeing his rival attempt to reverse made him walk past almost immediately.
He said, “I think there was things like Lewis trying to reverse and get out. So, look, I’ve already probably got too involved, but maybe Max saw that and was like, ‘Okay, Lewis is fine.’”
Furthermore, the 32-year-old also admitted any F1 driver would look out for the other despite any rivalry they may have. “For sure we’ve got rivalries, and for sure we don’t all get on the best. But if we had a crash and we knew that guy was injured, 100% hand on heart I believe all of us would go and try and help. If we knew it was something serious, we wouldn’t just turn our backs,” he concluded.
With seven races to go, one can only wonder where this intense rivalry goes from here.
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