Verstappen Controversially Handed Grid Penalty for Causing Hamilton F1 Crash at Monza

Published 09/12/2021, 1:22 PM EDT
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 TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Hours after Max Verstappen triggered a collision with his title rival, Lewis Hamilton, during the Italian Grand Prix, the stewards have affirmed that the Dutchman is on the guilty side and will serve a penalty over the upcoming race weekend at Sochi.

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This was impending for Verstappen from the moment he came together with Hamilton, going into turn 1. Of course, the crash was unavoidable, as the Red Bull driver had already lost control of his car and was rather a passenger.

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Nevertheless, Verstappen opted to tune his aggression up a notch against Hamilton, and he would have been aware that even a minor mistake was always going to cost heavily. And, well, ultimately it did. But, there could be a different perspective to the crash too.

There is also a question of whether Hamilton gave Verstappen enough space on the inside going into turn 1. Well, in the end, the stewards have found enough evidence to prove Verstappen guilty.

What is the penalty for Max Verstappen?

Heading into the Russian Grand Prix, which is due in a couple of weeks, Verstappen will serve a 3-place grid penalty. Meaning? The Dutchman will have to start 3 positions behind his qualifying position.

Along with the grid penalty, the stewards have also decided to hand the championship leader 2 penalty points. Hence, this ends Verstappen’s clean run this season. He was the only driver alongside Fernando Alonso, not to gain any penalty points this season.

One might question whether a 3-place penalty would suffice, considering he took another driver along with himself. Well, it does seem fair enough.

The intense ongoing title rivalry will mean that even a 1-place grid penalty can cause serious concerns to the serving team. Let alone a 3-place grid penalty. Hence, Hamilton will see this as an opportunity to reclaim the championship lead at Sochi.

How the Hamilton-Verstappen crash unfolded

On lap 26, Hamilton strolled into the pits for a fresh set of tires and endured a rather slow stop compared to Norris, who had attempted an undercut on the Briton by pitting a lap ahead. However, only while rejoining the track did Hamilton realize there was double trouble heading towards him.

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Along with Norris, there was Verstappen tagging along. Norris got ahead, and Verstappen found a window of opportunity and pounced at it.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after crashing out of the race with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Unfortunately, while attempting a move on the 7-time world champion, Verstappen ended up running deep into turn 1. Despite partially off the track, Verstappen was reluctant in letting go of Hamilton and re-entered the track without giving up on the throttle, during which his car ran over a sausage kerb.

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Consequently, the Red Bull was out of control and spiraled into the Mercedes, causing both to retire from the race due to terminal damage to the cars. Overall, out of this, only one question remains; What happens to their relationship that is already hanging by a thread?

Watch Story: Mad Max: Verstappen’s Angriest Rants on Team Radio

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Rohit Kumar

1170 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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