Max Verstappen defended by Daniel Ricciardo for role in Lewis Hamilton crash

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Max Verstappen (left) and Daniel Ricciardo are former Red Bull teammates  (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen (left) and Daniel Ricciardo are former Red Bull teammates (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo has defended Max Verstappen’s actions after the Dutchman’s crash with Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen has drawn criticism after appearing to walk away from Hamilton, who suffered a neck injury in the incident at, after the pair ran into one another at Monza.

The Red Bull driver, who leads the 2021 Drivers’ Championship by five points from Mercedes’ Hamilton, has also been accused of hypocrisy after being critical of the British driver after he celebrated home success at Silverstone after Verstappen was taken to hospital after a crash.

Ricciardo believes that his former teammate would have acted differently had he known Hamilton had been hurt in the crash in Lombardy.

“This is going to be diplomatic, I would say all of us drivers, for sure we’ve got rivalries, and for sure we don’t all get on the best,” the Australian explained on the Pardon My Take podcast.

“But if we had a crash and we knew that guy was injured, 100 per cent, hand on heart, I believe all of us would go and try and help. If we knew it was something serious, we wouldn’t just turn our backs.

“I know Max, I was team-mates with him for a few years and that’s him — he’s a competitor, he’ll leave it on the track and that’s it.

“I guess he probably still carried a little bit of frustration or anger or emotion from Silverstone, so maybe that was the reason why he was kind of like ‘Stuff this, I’m just going to walk away’.

“There were things like Lewis trying to reverse and get out. I’ve already probably got too involved, maybe Max saw that and he’s like ‘Okay, Lewis is fine’.”

Verstappen has been given a three-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi for his role in the incident.

A tight battle for world title supremacy has been predicted to cause further incident and issue.

Verstappen has not won a Drivers’ Championship and is bidding to deny Hamilton a fifth consecutive crown.

Hamilton could go past Michael Schumacher as the outright most successful driver in F1 history were he to secure an eighth title this season.

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