Lewis Hamilton accused of ‘over-dramatising’ Max Verstappen crash at Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton walks away from his Mercedes after colliding with Max Verstappen (Luca Bruno/AP) (AP)
Lewis Hamilton walks away from his Mercedes after colliding with Max Verstappen (Luca Bruno/AP) (AP)

Ralf Schumacher has accused Lewis Hamilton of “over dramatising” his crash with Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton suffered a neck injury in the incident at Monza that saw the Dutchman collide with his title rival and was seen wearing medical tape in a bid to ease the discomfort.

However the Mercedes then flew to New York to attend the prestigious Met Gala soon after the race, and Schumacher, younger brother of Hamilton’s fellow seven-time former world champion Michael, believes that the British driver may have over-played the extent of his injuries in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

“I think Lewis was over-dramatising, given that he flew back to New York the next day as fit as a fiddle,” said Schumacher on German television channel SPORT1.

Watch: F1 preview: A lap of the Russian Grand Prix

“He’s a colourful character who dares to do a lot. He gives a lot to Formula 1.

“But he’s only human and these superlatives also change a person. There is very little focus on his faults.”

Hamilton was likely saved from a more serious injury by the “halo” safety device that now protects all F1 drivers.

The titanium ring of protection was introduced in 2018 is designed to both block debris from entering the cockpit and prevent drivers suffering head trauma in incidents like the one between Hamilton and Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver, who leads Hamilton by five points in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, has been given a three-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix for his role in the crash.

Schumacher believes that neither was truly at fault for the crash between the rivals, and hailed the role of the new technology in preventing further injury, saying: “Thank God there is the halo - nobody did it on purpose.”

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