Shocking Lewis Hamilton incident taught Max Verstappen a lesson

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton remain fierce rivals despite Mercedes falling down the pecking order since 2022.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Anthony Davidson believes Max Verstappen’s crash with Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix “taught” the Dutchman a lesson, as he showed that he’s matured considerably at Monza on Sunday.

Back in 2021 when fighting Hamilton for the title, Verstappen launched over the top of Hamilton’s car on the exit of the opening chicane, after opting not to back out of a risky overtake.

On that day two years ago, Hamilton was exiting the pits whilst Verstappen held the racing line, resulting in the duo going side-by-side through the opening two corners.

Hamilton tried to force the Dutchman wide to secure the position, yet the Red Bull driver had no intention on backing out.

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As a result, the pair collided in dramatic fashion, as Verstappen launched over a sausage kerb and landed on top of Hamilton’s W12.

The pair retired from the race in what could’ve been a deadly accident, if it wasn’t for the halo device.

Fast forward to Sunday at the 2023 Italian GP and Verstappen found himself in second behind Carlos Sainz, who he was considerably faster than.

Verstappen tried to go around the outside of Sainz at the opening corner on Lap 6, a move which initially looked “very reminiscent” of his duel with Hamilton in 2021.

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However, on this occasion, Verstappen slammed on the brakes and backed out of the overtake, after recognising that there simply wasn’t any room.

He went on to make the move stick on Lap 15, before cruising to a record-breaking 10th consecutive victory.

The 25-year-old’s duel with Sainz was a real sign that the Dutchman has matured as a driver and has learnt when a move isn’t done, with Davidson believing that what the two-time World Champion did was “brilliant”.

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“If you’re going to give yourself a realistic chance of going around the outside to make sure you’re there for the next corner, you’ve got to have your front wheel absolutely alongside the other front wheel of the other car,” Davidson said on Sky Sports F1.

“It’s very reminiscent, I feel, to this situation here from 2021 with Max vs Lewis. In that moment, back then, Max did carry on around the outside and didn’t back out of it.

“I believe in that moment in 2021, taught Max well. So what does he do? He puts the brakes on, backs out of it and lives to fight another day. That was brilliant, it was brilliantly done.”