Monza (Italy): British Formula One (F1) star Lewis Hamilton was inches from tragedy at the Italian Grand Prix here Sunday. Title rival Max Verstappen’s car flew over his head after they took each other out of the race. A few inches lower, the back wheel of Verstappen’s car could have taken away the head of Hamilton.
Verstappen’s car launched off a ramped curb and onto the top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, with only the protective Halo device preventing the reigning World Champion from serious injury.
The Red Bull car went nose-first into the gravel with both drivers emerging from the carnage unscathed in the latest dramatic twist in an increasingly heated World Championship duel. Later Sunday, Dutchman Verstappen was handed a three-grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.
The two drivers both accused the other of being in the wrong after the race, with Hamilton saying Verstappen ‘knew what was going to happen, but he still did it’. Verstappen responded by saying he had ‘nowhere to go’ and blamed Hamilton for not giving him the room he needed to negotiate the corner.
As the two crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix, it was the turn of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo to win the race. It was McLaren’s first win in nearly nine years, since Jenson Button took the chequered flag in Brazil in 2012. It was also Ricciardo’s first win since Monaco in 2018. He finished 1.747 seconds ahead of teammate Lando Norris and 4.921 ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who turned in a strong performance after starting from the back of the grid after a penalty for taking a new engine.