Lewis Hamilton penalty fears raised after Max Verstappen crash at British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button has raised fears that Lewis Hamilton could be penalised at the British Grand Prix. The Brit collided with Max Verstappen on the opening lap, sending the Dutchman careering into the barriers. He was reportedly severely winded, although he walked away from the scene. 

In the aftermath of the crash, Button said: “They were giving each other room, I feel Max gave Lewis the room to fit a car through there.”

When asked if Hamilton was at risk of being penalised, the Brit added: “There’s a possibility, if he actually hit the apex, it’s fine, but he is a long way from the apex and he collected Max.”

Hamilton himself was adamant that he held the lead going into Copse corner, firstly saying he was ahead before quickly modifying his statement to say he was alongside the Drivers’ Championship leader. 

The incident came after a ferocious opening sequence to the race in which Hamilton was trying every trick in the book to get past Verstappen, as momentum appeared to be with the seven-time champion. 

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was livid after the incident, stating Verstappen’s case to FIA race director Michael Masi. 

He said: “That corner, Hamilton was never anywhere near alongside.

“Every driver that’s driven this circuit knows you do not stick a wheel up the inside of Copse.

“That’s an enormous accident and it was 100 per cent Max’s corner. As far as I’m concerned, full blame is on Hamilton, who should never have been in that position.

“You could have had a massive accident. Thank god he’s walked away unscathed. I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately.”

The stewards are investigating the incident which could see Hamilton penalised. 

Verstappen thankfully walked away broadly unhurt after what was a dramatic, high-speed crash into the tire wall. 

He was whisked off in an ambulance to be checked at the medical centre as a precaution, but it certainly could have ended much worse for the 23-year-old. 

Damon Hill also gave his take on the incident, saying: “We saw a level of aggression from Lewis that we haven’t seen for a while.

“Lewis was very much on the attack and Max would have felt that Lewis was not going to give up any room. But he had to turn into Copse eventually.”

With the race due to restart, the 300,000 capacity crowd will be on the edge of their seats if the drama is anything like it was during the opening lap. 

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