Hamilton: “I don’t think I’ve ever been hit on the head by a car before”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton talks about his collision with Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix and says he has “moved out of the way to avoid incidents” on more than one occasion.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided at the Italian Grand Prix, which led to Lewis’s Mercedes being run over by Max’s Red Bull.

The stewards have determined that the Dutch driver is “predominantly” to blame for the incident and he has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Russia.

Hamilton says he has learned not to hang on around the outside of Verstappen and has moved out of the way on more than one occasion, something the Dutch driver doesn’t want to do.

“If you look at the start of the race, the same incident or similar, when I went to try to go around the outside of Max,” said the Briton.

“We’re both the top drivers, well experienced. I know that I can’t go around the outside of Max. You’ve seen it in Imola, he runs you out of road.

“You’ve seen it at Turn 4 [at Monza]… in all instances I’ve moved out of the way to avoid incidents and gone over the kerbs.

“I was ahead in Turn 1. I left enough room, like a car width on the outside, going into the corner, but we barrelled the similar sort of speed into the corner and I was ahead going into Turn 2.

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“Ultimately, he lost control over the kerb and went into me, so I don’t feel at fault. I got hit from behind.

“There’s a point in which you have to concede you’re not going to make the corner and go across… Everyone has generally gone across those kerbs and I’m not quite sure why Max didn’t.”

The Briton was asked if he believes Verstappen is not respecting the racing code of conduct.

“I need to have a think because I don’t think I’ve ever been hit on the head by a car before. It’s quite a shock for me because, if you’ve seen the image, my head really is quite far forward.

“I’ve been racing a long, long time, so I’m so grateful that I’m still here and feel incredibly blessed. I feel like someone was watching [over] me.

“This will continue until we have to learn from our scenarios on track. I don’t have a history of these incidents.

“Ultimately, when you get away with things like that, then it’s easy just to continue to do it,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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