Carlos Sainz ‘pretty clear’ who was to blame for Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen crash

It is “pretty clear” who was to blame for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s dramatic crash at the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has claimed.

Both Hamilton and Verstappen have blamed each other for the incident, which saw the world championship contenders collide at Turn 1 at Monza and led to Verstappen’s Red Bull landing on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Hamilton has argued that Verstappen ran him out of the road while the Dutchman has reversed the accusation in the seven-time world champion’s direction.

Verstappen has been penalised, however, and has been hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix, the next race of the season.

Speaking after the race, Sainz weighed into the debate but said he would reserve his opinion for the next drivers meeting.

“From my point of view, the accident is pretty clear,” Sainz said. “I’m not going to go into detail, I’m not going to give you my opinion because I feel like there’s going to be some talk [about it] in the next driver meeting.

“I think it is always avoidable. I think two don’t crash if one doesn’t want [to].

“They are fighting for a championship. You’re more exposed to these kinds of incidents [in that scenario], like we’ve seen in the past.

“I guess it’s a natural thing in Formula 1, two guys that are fighting for the championship tend to collide more often than not.”

Hamilton and Verstappen also collided at the British Grand Prix in July, although Hamilton was able to stay on track and win his home race after Verstappen hit the wall at speed.

The Red Bull man leads Hamilton by five points with eight races of the season to go, but both drivers have been warned by F1 boss Ross Brawn that the world title must be settled on the track and to avoid collisions over the closing stages of the championship.

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