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Verstappen: Hamilton had zero intention to leave me space

Verstappen: Hamilton had zero intention to leave me space

Verstappen: Hamilton had zero intention to leave me space

Max Verstappen blamed Lewis Hamilton for their crash at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, insisting the Briton had no intention to leave him space.

And just like that, memories from Verstappen’s and Hamilton’s bitter 2021 Formula 1 season rivalry came back, as the pair clashed early in the race in Sao Paulo fighting for the same piece of tarmac.

The Dutchman was deemed to be in the wrong and was given a five-second time penalty, and ended up finishing the race sixth, while the Briton finished on the podium, second behind teammate and race winner George Russell.

Hamilton said in parc ferme while speaking to Felipe Massa: “What can I say, you know how it is with Max, so…”

Verstappen, facing the media after the race, was asked about his take on the incident, and naturally he had a different view.

He said: “Well, to be honest, I went around the outside in Turn 1. And then when we were like, I just felt it soon as I was going next to him. He was he had no intention to leave me space.

“Okay, if you don’t leave me space, are we just going to collide? Anyway, for him, it ruined his chance to win the race,” he added.

“Of course, after the safety car he had an opportunity, but I thought after last year, we maybe forget about it, we can finally race you know, because first of all, when I went side by side, I thought okay, let’s have a good race here.

“But then I mean, you know, you feel it with a driver if he’s going to leave his space or not. And there was zero intention to leave me space,” he maintained.

The penalty didn’t matter, I wasn’t going to win

As for being on the receiving end of a penalty, the Red Bull driver: “I didn’t expect the penalty. But you know, at the time we collided, I was like “well okay, we collided” I mean, I knew that I was not going to win the race. So it doesn’t matter.

“I was, well, I can say 85% alongside,” he went on, “and my intention is never to crash. But I could feel he was just not going to leave me the space into that corner. And then yeah, we collide.

“I mean, if he would have just moved a little bit, he probably would have stayed ahead anyway, and it’s a shame I want to race I want to have a good fight, but when the other one doesn’t want to work with you…

“And then you know, the rules,” Verstappen said. “Honestly, it’s so confusing how far you need to be alongside or whatever they are judging to be alongside. Yeah, then you get these kinds of things.

“And honestly, then we take the five second penalty, you know, I want to race and I thought we were racing,” the double F1 Champion concluded.

(Additional reporting by Agnes Carlier)