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Max Verstappen ‘runs you out of road’, Lewis Hamilton claims

Max Verstappen ‘runs you out of road’, Lewis Hamilton claims
The Mercedes driver criticised Verstappen for not leaving him enough room and causing the dramatic crash at Monza

Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Max Verstappen suite à leur crash at the Italian Grand Prix, claiming that the Dutchman and world championship contender “runs you out of road”.

Hamilton said he was grateful to be alive after he and Verstappen collided at Monza, in an extraordinary incident saw the the Red Bull driver’s car land on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Neither driver finished the race, in what was another dramatic chapter of the F1 title battle, but Verstappen was ruled to be at fault for the crash and has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Hamilton had also gone wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen on the opening lap at Monza, which saw the seven-time world champion head off the track to avoid the collision, and the Briton has criticised his title rival for consistently not leaving him enough room.

Verstappen has also claimed that he was run off the track by Hamilton.

“In terms of the actual incident, if you look at the start of the race, it was similar when I tried to go around the outside of Max [at Turn 4 on Lap 1],” Hamilton said.

"Maintenant, we’re both top drivers, well experienced. I know that I can’t go around the outside of Max. You’ve seen it in Imola, he runs you out of road, you’ve seen it in Turn 4, he runs you out of road.

“So in all instances, I’ve moved out of the way to avoid incidents and gone over the kerbs. Aujourd'hui, I was ahead in Turn 1, I left enough room, like a car width on the outside going into the corner, but we barrelled at a similar sort of speed into the corner and I was ahead going into 2. And ultimately, he lost control going over the kerb and went into me. So I don’t feel at fault, because I got hit from behind.

"Finalement, there’s a point at which you have to concede you’re not going to make the corner and you have to go across [the run-off], Everyone generally has gone across those kerbs, and I’m not sure why Max didn’t today.”

En réponse, Verstappen said: “I thought we were going to have a nice fight into Turn 1, through Turn 2. But as soon as I was next to him, he just kept on squeezing me more and more to the left.

“I still thought we’ll just have enough space to make it into Turn 2, but unfortunately, he ran me a bit too much out of road, so then I clipped the sausage kerb and that’s why we touched.”

The Red Bull driver leads Hamilton by five points with eight races of the season to go and both men been warned by F1 boss Ross Brawn to settle their championship battle on the track.

Speaking after the Italian Grand Prix, Brawn said that both drivers could have avoided the collision.