SILVERSTONE, U.K — Lewis Hamilton said he does not feel like he owes Max Verstappen an apology for the collision at the British Grand Prix which sent his championship rival to hospital for precautionary check-ups.
Hamilton hit Verstappen’s car as the pair battled for the lead at Copse corner on the opening lap.
The collision took Verstappen out of the race, with the Dutch driver going to the FIA medical centre and then to Coventry Hospital for precautionary checks after a heavy impact with the tyre barrier in a crash which registered 51 G-forces.
Hamilton received a 10-second time penalty, which he served at his one and only pit-stop, but fought back to catch and pass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc three laps from the end to win his eighth British Grand Prix.
Several hours after the race Verstappen tweeted to call the move dangerous and say he found it disrespectful to watch Hamilton celebrating while he was still being checked up in hospital.
Hamilton was speaking at the end of his TV and press conference media commitments after the race when he was asked if he will apologise to Verstappen in the coming days.
“At the end of the day I’ve not really seen the footage,” he said. “I saw a quick clip but will naturally go back and have time to reflect on it.
“I don’t think I’m in the position to have to apologise for anything, we’re out there racing, I heard Max is in hospital and that definitely concerns me. None of us ever want any of us to ever get injured, that’s never my intention, so I really hope he’s okay.
“I’ll hit him up after this just to check he’s okay, and we live to fight another day. There’ll be a lot of tough races coming up and we have to learn to strike a decent balance.
“I don’t agree with the stewards but I take my penalty on the chin and get on with my job. I’m not gonna whine about it, everyone’s gonna have a different opinion, I don’t really care what people think. I do what I do and am really grateful for today.”
Hamilton’s win slashed Verstappen’s championship lead from 33 to seven points.
Red Bull boss Horner labelled Hamilton’s move on Verstappen “amateur” and said the seven-time world champion should take no satisfaction from a win when his rival was in hospital.
“I don’t really have anything to say to Christian,” Hamilton said in response. “It doesn’t feel hollow.
“There’s 2000 people that work incredibly hard in my team, it’s not just about me naturally, of course this is not the way I want anything to happen in the race. I think it’s important for all of us to take a step back. I’m sure emotions are running high there, I know what it is like to lose points within a team and be n that position so I don’t feel any way about it.”