Villeneuve Defends Hamilton for Verstappen Crash With Michael Schumacher Example

Published 07/20/2021, 9:54 AM EDT
IMOLA, SAN MARINO ITALY: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari during the qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)


The British Grand Prix was engulfed in drama and controversy in the opening laps of the race. Lewis Hamilton was hunting down Max Verstappen as they headed into Copse. But they two collided, sending the Red Bull driver flying to the tire wall, as Hamilton continued on.

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The Knight won the race, overtaking Charles Leclerc in the closing stages of the Grand Prix. Hamilton picked up twenty-five points and is now just eight points behind championship leader, Verstappen.

Hence, former world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks he knows why Lewis pulled such a risky move at Silverstone. The incident also reminded him about his battle against Michael Schumacher for the ’94 driver’s title.

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Jacques Villeneuve thinks that Lewis Hamilton gave into pressure at Silverstone

Speaking Motorsport, the Canadian driver said, “Lewis misjudged the situation. He should have known that if he got behind a car at that speed, it would go into turbulence and slide towards Max’s car.

“But I think the pressure to be beaten by Max at home was so great that he subconsciously agreed to take the risk. I think if he had been in another race, he would have taken his foot off the gas much sooner when he got to this corner.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

“Still, Lewis didn’t intentionally crash into Max’s car like Michael Schumacher did to me in Jerez in 1997. He was just trying to take his chances,” he concluded.

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Horner thinks Hamilton is to be blamed for Verstappen’s horrific crash

Hamilton and Max are undoubtedly each other fiercest rivals. The two were pushing each other to the limit as they zipped around Silverstone, but Hamilton hit Verstappen as they were heading into Copse. Verstappen suffered a 51G accident, so it is no surprise that the Team Principal of Red Bull, Christian Horner, is frustrated with the Mercedes driver.

He said, “You don’t put a wheel up the inside without there being huge consequences. We are just lucky that there wasn’t someone seriously hurt. What I am most angry about is just the lack of judgment and the desperation in this move. It was never on.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

“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,” Horner concluded.

However, Verstappen isn’t one to give up easily but will push to redeem himself. The next race is in Hungary, where Red Bull will be hoping to have the edge over Hamilton & Co.

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Arpit Gomes

636 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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