JONATHAN MCEVOY: Lewis Hamilton’s life was saved by the halo device.. Max Verstappen’s Red Bull would have run straight over his head without the safety cage he was in
- Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen pulled each other out of the Italian Grand Prix
- Pair scrambled for position after Hamilton exited the pit lane
- Verstappen was forced wide as he went wheel-to-wheel with the Mercedes
- His wheels were mounted on a ramp in the bend that launched his car over Hamilton’s
- The rear wheels came within inches of hitting Hamilton’s head
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed into each other and out of the Italian Grand Prix – with the Briton’s life saved by the halo device.
The seven-time world champion sat motionless in his car, perhaps processing the fact that without the safety cage he was in, the Red Bull would have run straight over his head.
The title rivals didn’t exchange a word as they each got out of their cars, Verstappen first and Hamilton a worrying few minutes later.
The smash came on lap 26 of 53 as they battled for the net third place around the pit stops. Running out of room on the inside at the first chicane, Verstappen refused to back up and was launched through the curbs over the Mercedes and they both landed motionless in the gravel, Hamilton’s Mercedes under his opponent’s machine.
They had been thrown together by Mercedes’ slow stop. So the champion came out of the pit as Verstappen approached. They went close to the straight and then struggled through the chicane, Variante del Retifillo – and bang!
“That’s what you get if you don’t leave a room,” Verstappen said over the radio.
It was the pair’s second major collision of the season, following their high-speed crash at Silverstone in July.
As a result, Verstappen leads the standings by five points with eight races to go, as he did at the start of the dramatic day.
The two men walked back to the paddock separately, awaiting an investigation by the stewards to begin at the end of the race.
Daniel Ricciardo won for McLaren, the team’s first victory from Woking since Jenson Button’s success in Brazil in 2012. Their joy was maximized with Lando Norris in second place, the Briton’s highest finish. Valtteri Bottas finished third for Mercedes.