Max Verstappen reveals reaction to infamous Lewis Hamilton incident

Max Verstappen crashed heavily in the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix following a high-speed tyre failure.

Ahead of next weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has recalled the 2021 edition of the race, which will forever be remembered for how incredibly chaotic and thrilling it was.

Verstappen had been in complete control of the 2021 Azerbaijan GP and looked set to claim a comfortably win, until he suffered a dramatic high-speed tyre failure as went past the start/finish line grandstand.

The sudden tyre failure resulted in Verstappen crashing heavily into the wall, with debris having been scattered across the circuit.

As a result, the race was red flagged with just two laps remaining, with Verstappen having looked set to lose a huge haul of points to Hamilton in their immense title fight.

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At the restart, team-mate Sergio Perez started on pole with Hamilton alongside him, with it having been the Mercedes driver who made the better launch.

Perez was sluggish off the line, allowing Hamilton to sweep into the lead.

However, the restart drama wasn’t done there, as Hamilton locked-up massively at the opening corner, resulting in him going deep into the run-off area, dropping him to last.

Hamilton’s monumental error was met with a huge roar from the crowd, with Verstappen’s phone having gone mental as a result.

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“And then I hear the restart,” Verstappen told Perez.

“All the cars were [engine noise]. At one point I heard the guys brake, and I could hear a [high-pitched squeal] and then everyone was like ‘Yeah!’ like this.

“I think Gemma [Lusty, Red Bull press officer] was with me and the phone was like [buzzing noise], like a hundred messages.

“I said ‘what happened, what happened?’ and then you [Perez] were back in the lead.”

Had Hamilton not locked-up at the opening corner, then he would’ve presumably finished on the podium at the very worst, which would’ve seen him become an eight-time World Champion at the end of the season.

At the time, Hamilton and Mercedes blamed the lock-up on the 38-year-old pressing the wrong button, with him having accidently changed his brake balance.

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It had been suggested by some that Hamilton buckled under the pressure of battling Verstappen; however, the Briton noted that the Dutchman “wasn’t in the race”.

“Well, Max wasn’t in the race at the time, so it definitely wasn’t the pressure from Max,” Hamilton stated at the time.

Rather than label it as a mistake, he instead called it “an unforced error, really something we had that was sitting there that could have happened at any point and it unfortunately bit us pretty hard.”