1996 F1 champion Damon Hill says it might not have been a “conscious thing”, but at one point Max Verstappen decided he was “not going to let” Lewis Hamilton beat him.
On the F1 Nation podcast Damon Hill expanded on his theory that Max Verstappen chose to crash into Lewis Hamilton deliberately.
“It seems to me, on either side, there’s no willingess to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to let this one go,'” Hill said.
“Maybe Lewis let it go on Lap 1. He tried an optimistic move, it didn’t work, he let it go. With Max, I get the sense he could have let this one go.
“He was round the outside, Lewis had slipped through. He might be able to get back on the track behind him and have another go later.
“But I think there’s also in his mind… he knew how lucky he had been to get on the front row, on pole position for the race, because of the Sprint race, and I think he knew this is the biggest lucky break he’s ever had.
“Going into Monza, they [Red Bull] had it down as a Mercedes track. It always looked like it was going to be a Mercedes circuit.
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“They probably thought they’re going to lose points, they’d be lucky to come out of there with not too big a points deficit, and they got lucky.
“He’s on pole position, and then suddenly loses it again because Lewis had gone through, and he knew that once Lewis had gone, his chances of getting him back are nil.
“He just thought, ‘No, I’m not going to let that happen’. I’m not saying this is a conscious thing.”
The Briton explains Max should have realised that his move would lead to a collision as it’s his job to realise when to give up.
“He knows the big sausage kerb on the inside is there. So he knows he can’t just cut across that, because he’s going to slide into Lewis which is exactly what happened.
“So he knew he’d have to get out of there before that. That is the job of the driver, to use his judgement.
“If he was flying an aeroplane, you’d want him to make the right decision as to whether to abort the landing or not, not just go, ‘Oh sod it, I’ll try and land.’,” Hill concluded.