SILVERSTONE, U.K. — Max Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary checks after crashing out of the British Grand Prix in a collision with title rival Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap.
Verstappen walked away from the accident with the help of marshals, but after visiting the circuit medical centre he was referred to the local hospital for further checks.
The two championship contenders collided in a high-speed accident at the 180 mph Copse corner, taking Vertsappen out of the race on the spot while Hamilton continued in the race.
Verstappen, who started from pole position, was under attack from Hamilton in the opening lap of the race, with the Mercedes driver attempting overtakes in Turn 1 (Abbey), Turn 3 (Village) and Turn 6 (Brooklands).
Hamilton got his car alongside Verstappen on the old pit straight before going to the inside at Turn 9, known as Copse.
The corner is a flat-out right hander taken at over 180 mph, but rarely sees two cars run side by side. Hamilton’s front left tyre clipped Verstappen’s rear right, sending the Red Bull into the barriers at high-speed.
Verstappen managed to get himself out of his car with the help of marshals and appeared to be winded but uninjured. He was later taken to the medical centre for checks.
Hamilton was heard on team radio telling his engineer: “He [Verstappen] turned in on me, man.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was furious about the accident, telling Channel 4: “Copse is one of the fastest corners in the world, you don’t stick a wheel up the inside, that’s just dirty driving.”
The FIA race stewards investigated the incident and gave Hamilton a ten-second penalty for causing a collision.
Red Bull confirmed Verstappen had gone to hospital on the advice of doctors at the circuit.
“Following a first lap incident at Copse Corner between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, we can confirm that Max Verstappen walked away from his car and was immediately taken to the Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre,” a Red Bull statement said.
“Following an assessment by the trackside doctors at Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, Max Verstappen has been taken to a local hospital for further precautionary tests.
“Further updates will follow in due course.”
The race was suspended moments after the incident to allow track marshals to assess the damage to the barriers.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was leading the race when the red flag came out, with Hamilton in second place and Valtteri Bottas third.