Lewis Hamilton’s rivalry with Max Verstappen escalated after their controversial clash at the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton collided with Verstappen at high-speed on the opening lap at Silverstone causing the race to be red flagged.
Championship leader Verstappen was taken to hospital as a precaution after a high-speed impact which left his Red Bull destroyed before Hamilton overtook Charles LeClerc late on to win the race.
Verstappen’s team boss Christian Horner was outspoken about Hamilton’s “dangerous” manoeuvre after the race, branding it a “hollow victory”.
But Hamilton fired back and criticised Verstappen’s “aggressive” driving style, insisting the Dutchman was to blame and it took no shine off his win.
Here’s a full transcript of what Hamilton and Horner had to say after the dramatic race at Silverstone.
Sky Sports F1)
Hamilton told Sky Sports: “I just don’t feel like he needs to be as aggressive as he is.
“We’re going down to turn six and he’s bumping wheels with me. It’s cool because there’s footage of old Formula One, great drivers bumping wheels on the straight. I’m sure it looks cool and everything.
“I tried to give him space but I was quite a long way up on the inside into nine and none of us backed out, and that was the end result.
“I took the penalty, of course, and it’s never one person’s fault. It’s always a balance of the two.
“I don’t feel anything now, I just channel everything into my driving, which I did, and I was so proud I was able to do that in front of the crowd.”
Response to Horner’s comment:
“Honestly, no it doesn’t [take a shine off it]. This is racing.
“Of course I would love to be able to race and us to leave each other space and there is plenty of space on the track for us to get around and manage for a long time without colliding with someone.
“But when someone is just too aggressive, these things are bound to happen and there’s not a single driver here that doesn’t know how aggressive a driver can be.
“There’s not really much more for me to say. I hope he’s OK. OF course I would love to have a wheel to wheel battle for the whole race.
“I enjoy racing with him, but I would never back down from everyone and I would not be bullied into being less aggressive.
“Today, this weekend, we needed the points, there was a gap, he left a gap and I went for it.”
Speaking to Channel 4:
“I think I was really, even though we still had second, yesterday was disappointing for me.
“At the end of the day, the start was my fault. I had wheel spin, I was really hard on myself last night, I was really frustrated.
“I came here today and I was like, the British crowd is here, I’ve got to do something special.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
“I made a good start, but Max is a tough cookie to crack and of course he’s very, very aggressive.
“You always have to give him extra, give him space. I was alongside him down six, and he was bumping wheels with me, so I knew he was somewhere on the inside so I gave him space.
“The next one I was really happy with the move, I was really far alongside but I could see he was not going to concede.
“Anyway, he cut across me then we collided and I was quite frustrated, because we have to give space to one another.
“I knew I had the penalty and I was like, ‘you know what, I’m going to give it absolutely everything for the team and for the fans here, and we’ll see where we get’. I just never gave up.”
On emotions at the end of the race:
“I thought I was going to have a heart attack to be honest. When I got out the car it was very emotional.
“The whole parade lap with the British flag, a really proud moment for me, and the emotions just fill up more and more as you come to the end.
“Then you just want to go and hug everyone. Then I ran around and nearly had a heart attack! What a beautiful day, what a blessing.
“We had a difficult week last week with the England squad, who played amazingly, and I just wanted to play my part, so hopefully brought some joy to England.”
On if he would have a chat with Verstappen:
“I don’t really know what more to say. Just game on. We’re going to keep on attacking.
“There needs to be respect on the track then if not, that’s going to happen more often I guess, but I try my hardest to stay as clean as possible.”
Horner, speaking to Sky Sports after the race, said: “It shouldn’t be like that, to be honest with you.
“Max has incurred a 51g accident. Lewis Hamilton is an eight-time world champion, he shouldn’t be making manoeuvres like that. It’s unacceptable.
“Thank goodness, the biggest result for us today is that he’s uninjured, he’s having to go to hospital for [precautionary checks.
“I hope Lewis is very happy with himself.
“He stuck a wheel up the inside in a corner you just know you don’t do that. You just don’t stick a wheel up the inside at Copse, in that corner, in those circumstances.
“He was nowhere near ahead, it was contact, left front to right rear, and the speed they’re travelling, It’s one of the fastest corners in the championship.
“Lewis has got more than enough experience to know that’s unacceptable and, as I say, I”m just very disappointed that a driver of his calibre should make such a move.
“It’s dangerous, he’s put a competitor at risk, it looked desperate and thank goodness uninjured, he’s in hospital getting himself checked out.
“I don’t care what Lewis says, have a look on your own analysis, draw your own comparisons.
“For me, that’s a hollow victory.”
“It wasn’t much of a penalty really, was it,” he added.