Verstappen: No hard feelings over Hamilton Copse crash one year later

Max Verstappen says there are no hard feelings with 2021 Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton over last year’s crash at Copse ahead of their return to Silverstone this weekend.

Verstappen: No hard feelings over Hamilton Copse crash one year later

The two drivers collided on the opening lap of last year’s British Grand Prix, resulting in a 51G impact for Verstappen’s Red Bull car with the barrier at the exit of the high-speed right-hander.

Verstappen had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks as a result of the accident, and while Hamilton was given a 10-second time penalty for being predominantly to blame, he went on to still win the race.

It flared tensions between the two drivers. Verstappen took issue to Hamilton’s celebrations while he was in hospital, and felt he deserved a bigger penalty.

A series of remarks from Red Bull senior figures Christian Horner and Helmut Marko against Hamilton prompted Mercedes to hit back and say the attacks had become too personal. Hamilton was also subject to racist abuse online in the wake of the crash. 

One year on from the incident, Verstappen finds himself leading the F1 drivers’ championship once again, but does not have Hamilton for close company this time amid Mercedes’ struggles under the new regulations.

Speaking to Autosport’s sister publication, GP Racing, in the latest issue out today ahead of the British Grand Prix, Verstappen said he felt “good” returning to Silverstone and that there was no lingering ill feeling over what happened.

“Of course, the crash wasn’t nice, but I love the track,” Verstappen said of Silverstone.

“I love going there. It’s [a] really good atmosphere with Formula 1, and we’re going really quick around there.

“So I don’t have any hard feelings. And I also think very easily I can put these things aside. Of course, it wasn’t nice what happened, but at the end of the day, you deal with it.

“It wasn’t a nice impact for me personally, but we go out there again and try to win of course.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

While Verstappen tends to enjoy the lion’s share of support at most European circuits from his travelling Dutch fanbase, much of the expected crowd of over 400,000 over three days at Silverstone are likely to be cheering on seven-time world champion Hamilton.

But Verstappen said he felt zero concerns about the reception from the crowd: “The good thing is, once we jump in the car with the helmet on, you don’t hear anything.

“And they love motorsport. I mean, it’s such a big history in England in general, right?”

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