Incident strewn British GP for Red Bull Racing Honda

It was an unfortunate weekend for Red Bull Racing Honda as Max Verstappen collided with title-rival, Lewis Hamilton in the opening lap of the race. The Mercedes driver was blamed for the incident, given a 10-second penalty but still managed to claim P1 and is now only eight points behind Verstappen in the Drivers Championship.

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Incident strewn British GP for Red Bull Racing Honda

After a good getaway by the Dutchman, it was an ongoing tussle by both drivers in the first corners of the Silverstone circuit. Heading into Copse corner, Hamilton was wide of the apex and his front left wheel made contact with Verstappen's right rear in the middle of the corner, and the impact sent Verstappen into the barriers on the outside measuring at 51G. As a precaution, Verstappen was sent to hospital for tests. He was released from hospital, following a thorough medical examination, without any major injuries.

After spinning in the inaugural Sprint Qualifying session, Perez started in the pitlane. Stuck in a DRS train at various points during the race, the Mexican pitted late on to secure the fastest lap of the race, crucially taking a Drivers Championship point away from any rivals.

Discussing his race, Sergio Perez said: “I’m very disappointed with my weekend and my performance. I wasn’t able to make as much progress as expected and found myself in a very difficult position with the tyres. As soon as we were in the DRS train it was impossible to overtake people. 

“I think P7 was possible today, with a couple more laps I think I could have got Lance and Fernando but in the end for strategic reasons we decided to stop to take the fastest lap. It’s a weekend for us to forget and we lost a lot of ground in the Championship, we need to regroup, work hard and come back as strong as possible in Hungary. I need to re-watch the incident with Max and Lewis as I haven’t seen it, but the most important thing is that Max is okay.”

On a positive note, Max Verstappen made history by winning Formula 1’s first Sprint Qualifying at Silverstone thanks to a brilliant start that allowed him to power past title rival Lewis Hamilton and take a lead held for the next 17 laps.

The Dutchman’s Sprint victory meant he took three Championship points and pole position for the British Grand Prix. To learn more about how Sprint races work, click here

Commenting on the unfortunate aspects of the race, Team Principal Christian Horner said: “This is an incredibly difficult way to end the British Grand Prix weekend and it goes without saying that we are all just thankful Max was able to walk away from the car, despite later being taken to hospital for precautionary checks, where he currently remains for observation.

“I have reviewed the footage many times and still cannot help but feel that putting a wheel up the inside at Copse, one of the fastest corners in this World Championship, was ill-judged and a huge risk by Lewis to both drivers. He was not significantly alongside Max as you can see from the point of contact, Lewis’ front left to Max’s right rear. The move was never on and resulted in a 51G impact for Max.

“For Checo, it was also not an easy afternoon and after starting from the pit lane and making early progress through the field he was stuck in a mid-field DRS train creating high tyre degradation. We therefore opted to pit him towards the end of the race in order to secure fastest lap. We come away with a slim lead in both Championships and you can be sure that once we have had time to reflect on today, all this weekend will do is add fire to our Championship fight.”

The team will now be looking to get back to racing at the Hungarian GP in Budapest beginning on 30 July.