E s doesn't happen so often in Formula 1 that the drivers of the top teams compete in direct duels on the track. But with starting positions 9 for Lewis Hamilton and 15 for Max Verstappen, everything had to be expected in Bahrain. It was a bit of a surprise that the two World Cup candidates crossed each other in lap 3.
At the end of the home straight, Verstappen launched an attack on the world champion. The Red Bull chose the inside lane and passed the Silver Arrow. But Hamilton did not give up the place without resistance. He only had to back off at the exit of the curve. When trying to line up behind his competitor, the front wing got stuck on the left rear tire of the Red Bull, which led to the flat tire.
Verstappen does not see his own fault
Verstappen dragged himself to the pits with the puncture to pick up a fresh set of rubbers . But after another round it was finally over. 'The differential must have been damaged,' explained the pilot. “I had more spinning tires on one side than on the other. I couldn't go on like this. ”
Normally, collisions on the track are investigated by the FIA commissioners. But in this case the referees saw no need for action. “We looked at it in the race management. But because no driver could be ascribed a major culprit, we decided not to carry out an official investigation, ”explained race director Charlie Whiting.
The drivers saw the case a little differently. From his point of view, Verstappen saw the matter clearly: “I'm goodgot out of the last bend. Lewis defended the place outside. I left enough space on my side. ”The youngster refrained from assigning blame, but he couldn't resist a little teasing:“ If it had been the other way around, he would definitely have said something. ”
Hamilton - Offense before the award ceremony
Although the effects of the collision were much less negative for the world champion, Hamilton was angry afterwards. When the scene in the room before the award ceremony was played, the Briton chose an insult to Verstappen, which is still carefully translated with the word “idiot”.
When asked about it at the official press conference, Sebastian Vettel sided with him his Mercedes colleagues: “That is not fair. We have all been in this situation many times. We fight wheel to wheel. It's close to the point and there's a lot of adrenaline flowing. I don't think that such shitty questions are justified and that you can make a story out of nothing. ”
Instead of using Vettel's lead, Hamilton thwarted the support of his Ferrari colleague. When answering the question about the accident, he once again made serious accusations: “That was simply an unnecessary collision. There has to be a certain respect between us drivers. But that didn't feel like a respectful maneuver. '
' In the end it was a stupid maneuver for himself too, because it prevented him from finishing the race. It is obvious that he is prone to some mistakes lately. It was just an unnecessary action. I don't even know when it happened in the race. But actually I don't care. ”And in our opinion these statements were worth a story after all.