Lewis Hamilton on Max Verstappen crash: Success has made me a target

Lewis Hamilton was involved in yet another incident with Max Verstappen in Brazil, with the Dutchman receiving a penalty.

The Brazilian Grand Prix left fans and pundits with a lot of talking points, with the incident filled race creating a plethora of things to dissect post-race.

Mercedes came home to secure not only their first win of the season, courtesy of George Russell, but also their first one-two finish since Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas achieved the feat back in Imola in 2020.

This possibility of this happening was almost taken away from the team in the early stages of the race, when Max Verstappen made contact with Hamilton going into the Senna S.

Whilst the Dutchman was ahead going into the first turn of the S, it is treated as a collection of separate corners, which means that when Hamilton found himself ahead going into Turn 2, the rules suggest that Verstappen should have backed off as it was Hamilton’s corner.

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The 25-year-old failed to do so however, staying on the inside of his 2021 championship rival through the middle of the ‘S’ and making contact, which brought him a broken front wing and a five second penalty.

Hamilton managed to carry on without having to pit for any repairs, coming home to complete the Mercedes one-two, but he has admitted that at one point this did not look possible.

“For me, all I thought in that moment, I thought I would have to retire because the rear wasn’t feeling the same after that,” he admitted.

“It was like ‘I am going to lose the team a one-two,’ that was all I could think of.

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“So I was driving across the grass and back on the track and all I could think of was how I could get back to give the team this incredible result.

“Just for me, it is not how you fall, it is how you get back up,” concluded the seven-time world champion.

This is certainly not the first time that the pair have been involved in a controversial incident, with the 2021 season being littered with situations that saw the two drivers come together, with Hamilton believing that his success in the sport has made him a target.

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“It is natural when you have the success and numbers on your chest that you become a bit of a target,” he suggested.

“But it is ok, it is nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”

After the stunning result in Brazil, Mercedes will believe they have a genuine chance over overtaking Ferrari in the constructors’ championship in Abu Dhabi.