FIA justifies decision to penalize Hamilton for Verstappen crash

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The FIA stewards explained their decision to hold Lewis Hamilton accountable for the opening lap crash that sent Max Verstappen into the barriers.

The two championship contenders made contact on the entry to the high speed Copse corner on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix when Hamilton lunged down the inside of Verstappen, but clipped the Dutchman's right rear wheel.

The contact pitched Verstappen into a spin and broadside into the barriers. The Red bull driver emerged unscathed from the crash but was nevertheless taken to hospital for some precautionary exams.

Hamilton went on to win the race, snatching P1 from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc two laps from the checkered flag after fighting back from a 10-second penalty.

The stewards decided to sanction the Mercedes driver as they considered that he had room on the inside of the corner to keep his rival out of harm's way.

"The Stewards reviewed video and telemetry evidence," read their ruling. "Cars 33 [Verstappen] and 44 [Hamilton] entered turn 9 with Car 33 in the lead and Car 44 slightly behind and on the inside.

"Car 44 was on a line that did not reach the apex of the corner, with room available to the inside.

"When Car 33 turned into the corner, Car 44 did not avoid contact and the left front of Car 44 contacted the right rear of Car 33. Car 44 is judged predominantly at fault."

Hamilton disagreed with the sanction, feeling that Verstappen had not given him enough room on the inside of the corner.

"Of course, I always try to be measured in how I approach things, particularly with battling with Max," he said. "You know he's very aggressive.

"And then today, I mean I was fully alongside him, and he didn't leave me space."

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