Lewis Hamilton ‘Fortunate to Be Alive’ after Crash at Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton ‘Fortunate to Be Alive’ after Crash at Italian Grand Prix

Formula 1 racers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed during a race in Italy on Sunday and both were ruled out of the remainder of the race.

The pair were locked wheel to wheel in the 26th lap and with Hamilton looking to squeeze Verstappen of space, the Dutch driver appeared to bounce off a curb on a corner, flying into the air and landing on top of Hamilton’s car.

Verstappen could be heard on his team’s radio saying: “That’s what you get when you don’t leave the space.”

“He pushed me wide,” seven-time world champion Hamilton said over the radio.

Both drivers were able to walk away from the incident. The FIA, motorsport’s global governing body, announced that the incident would be investigated after the race.

After the race, Hamilton told reporters that he felt “fortunate to be alive.”

“I have been racing for a long, long time,” he said. “I am so grateful I am still here. I feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today. It is a big shock. We are taking risks and it is only when you experience something like that that you get the real shock of how you look at life and how fragile we all are.”

Hamilton added: “I don’t think I have ever been hit on the head by a car before. And it is quite a shock for me. If you look at the images, my head is really quite far forward. His rear wheel landed on the halo and the inside part of his tire landed on my head.

“I will need to see a specialist to make sure I am good for the next race because my neck is getting tighter and tighter.”

The battle between Verstappen and Hamilton has been fiery all season. Both have become known for their fierce battles, and that is part of the reason why they sit atop the standings this season.

TV replays appeared to show Verstappen’s car landing on the halo safety device on Hamilton’s car. The halo is a mandatory protection device on F1 cars that features a titanium structure that shields drivers in their cockpits.

Afterward, Hamilton said he believed Verstappen could have “absolutely” backed out.

“And that’s racing. He just didn’t want to give way today. He knew when he was going into Turn 2 what was going to happen. He knew he was going over the curb but still did it. We’ll speak to the stewards and we’ll see,” Hamilton said.

Red Bull driver Verstappen said he “just wanted to race.”

“It’s very unfortunate what happened today but I think we are professional enough to step over it. I think for sure we can talk about it,” he told Sky Sports.

After the crash, Daniel Ricciardo’s calm and collected performance led him to his first victory of the season. The Australian overtook Verstappen before the first corner of the first lap to come from second place in the grid and led for the majority of the race.

His teammate Lando Norris made it a McLaren 1-2, finishing second ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

To celebrate the win, Ricciardo took off his shoe, filled it with champagne, and drank it. Even his teammate Norris joined in the “shoey” celebrations.

Source: CNN International