Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed together at the Italian Grand Prix in their collision on Sunday – the halo appearing to save the seven-time British world champion from a serious injury.
The incident occurred shortly after Hamilton exited the pit lane on lap 26, just ahead of Verstappen, prompting the 23-year-old to aggressively fight for position.
As Hamilton exited the pits, Verstappen moved closer to the Mercedes driver and, as they were fighting for position at Variante Del Rettifilo, they collided.
Hamilton moved to his left to defend his position on the right side, with the Mercedes driver still just ahead for the left-hander who followed.
Verstappen ran out of room and ran down the curb which threw his Red Bull out of control and into Hamilton’s Mercedes.
The rear of the Dutchman’s airborne machine ran over the top of Hamilton’s helmet, with the halo shield absorbing the impact.
Verstappen’s rear tire moved closer to Hamilton’s head, despite the presence of safety devices including the halo.
Verstappen’s Red Bull forward then ran aground in gravel and rested on Hamilton’s car.
An enraged Verstappen said: “This is what happens when you don’t leave any room.”
The Dutchman jumped out of the cockpit and fled, without checking Hamilton’s condition.
A lap later, Hamilton finally emerged from his car, appearing unharmed in the second collision in five races between the championship protagonists.
The Hamilton team posted an update on Twitter that read, “For anyone who asks, Lewis is fine. He’s on his way back to the paddock now.
The incident was referred to the race marshals for post-race investigation and it was decided that Verstappen should receive a three grid-place penalty for the Russian Grand Prix.
“The marshals heard from the driver of car 33 [Verstappen], the driver of the car 44 [Hamilton] and team representatives, reviewed the video evidence and determined that the driver of car 33 was primarily to blame for the collision with car 44 at turn 2, ”the commissioners said in a statement.
In the end, Daniel Ricciardo took advantage of the extraordinary crash to secure McLaren’s first victory since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Australian rider led home a brace for the British team with Lando Norris taking a career second best.
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