Honda F1 boss: “In the end I think it was a racing incident”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Honda’s F1 Managing Director Masashi Yamamoto says he believes the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen was “a racing incident”.

After Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided on Lap 1 of the British Grand Prix, both Red Bull boss Christian Horner and Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko said they believed the incident was Lewis’ fault.

Not only that, they even went a step further and accused the Briton of hitting Max on purpose, in a move that Horner described as a “professional foul”.

However, many current and former Formula 1 drivers and personalities came out afterward saying they believe it was a racing incident.

Now, even Red Bull’s engine supplier Honda seems to think the collision was a classic example of a racing incident.

“In the end, I think it was a racing incident, because we were running neck and neck in previous corners, but the other driver is a person who has won the championship seven times,” Honda’s F1 Managing Director Masashi Yamamoto told Japan’s Autosport Web.

Since Christian Horner made his feeling clear on the issue immediately after the race, Autosport Web asked Yamamoto about Dr. Helmut Marko’s initial reaction.

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“The moment it happened I was standing next to Marko. It was the first lap after the start, so everyone was shocked.

“The race was over on the first lap,” concluded Honda F1’s boss.

This reaction from Yamamoto is not surprising, as Honda is a very respectful and proud company, and they are not known for resorting to any type of mudslinging. Surely they cannot be happy with how Red Bull chose to handle the situation.

On an unrelated note, the current Mercedes Formula 1 team is a direct descendant of Honda’s old Formula 1 team that was active from 2006 until 2008. Mercedes even uses the same facilities at Brackley (that were built in 1999 by British American Racing).

When Honda decided to pull out of F1 at the end of 2008, the team was bought out by Ross Brawn and famously won both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship just a year later (powered by Mercedes).

At the end of 2009 Mercedes bought the team and the rest is history. You can read about the team’s history in more detail on our Mercedes F1 History page.

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