Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen had two big controversial collisions in 2021, at Silverstone and at Monza.
At Silverstone the collision led to Verstappen crashing heavily into the barrier. He thankfully walked away from the crash without injuries, but was later sent to the hospital for precautionary checks.
Lewis went on to win the race, but was later criticised by Red Bull for celebrating while Max was in the hospital. However, they failed to mention that Lewis and Mercedes already knew Max was uninjured.
Now Toto Wolff gives his comments on the controversy.
“I look back at Silverstone,” the Austrian told the Daily Mail.
“Our perspective is of an over-aggressive Verstappen, who has been over-aggressive for a long time but has always got away with it, who then ended up in the wall. We think he should have left space.
“We saw him crash, which was hard, but he got out of the car and we heard on many occasions he was OK, that he was sent to hospital for precautionary checks but was all right —and that came from senior Red Bull personnel.
“Meanwhile, we finally won a race again, in Silverstone, with Lewis Hamilton, in front of a big British crowd, against the odds. So we were super-happy. We gained 25 points on our main rival.
“But from Red Bull’s perspective they think they were in the right, they see their driver go into the wall and hear him on the radio, suffering — which we didn’t hear — with immense impact.
“You’ve lost 25 points, which is disastrous for your campaign and then your driver is in hospital not feeling great with a 50G impact and then you see Mercedes celebrating exuberantly.
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“So you think that’s not right. Could we have done it better? Muted celebrations? No. People always see things in black and white. I’m right, you’re wrong. They don’t get it.”
Then later at Monza, the duo once again crashed, and this time they both got taken out. In the process Max’s car ran over Lewis’ car and bumped the Briton’s head with its rear left tyre.
After the race Lewis said his neck was feeling stiff and that was going to undergo some physical therapy. A day later Lewis flew to New York to attend the Met Gala, and was subsequently criticised by Red Bull for ‘faking an injury’.
Red Bull once again failed to note that neither Lewis nor Mercedes ever said he was gravely injured.
“Then we go to Monza,” Wolff continued.
“So what’s worse? A 50G impact, or having a car on your head? Look, both walked away unharmed. That was the consequence, so fine, we move on.
“Lewis never played the dying swan, nor did we ever say he was heavily injured. And that can happen when a 750kg race car ends up on your head, even for a short while.
“He had a stiff neck, or a stiff body. But that’s why they are well paid. One pantomime player at Red Bull felt he needed to comment and said Lewis was well enough to go to the Met Gala.
“But we didn’t say he was gravely injured. It was just another headline created,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.