F1

Hamilton was to blame for Verstappen crash, F1 boss Ecclestone says

The fallout from Sunday's British Grand Prix continues as Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has given his views on the first lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Hamilton crashed into the Dutchman's rear-right tyre on turn nine of the first lap, leading to a 15-minute pause of the race and the early retirement of Drivers' Championship leader, Verstappen.

As a result of the incident, seven-time world champion Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty by the race stewards, but Ecclestone believes that the punishment did not match the crime and that his fellow Brit was lucky to not be penalised more severely.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ecclestone said: "Who was to blame? Lewis.

"In the old days we would have said it was one of those things, a racing incident. But if the stewards needed to get involved then they should have given Lewis more than a 10-second penalty. It should have been 30 seconds."

Despite the 10-second penalty, Hamilton was able to claim his eighth British Grand Prix win and cut the gap to Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship to just eight points after 10 races.

Had he been penalised by 30 seconds, as Ecclestone feels he should have, than the 36-year-old would have only finished in third place, behind Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Should Lewis Hamilton have been hit with a tougher sanction for crashing into Max Verstappen? Let us know in the comments section below.

"Lewis was not in front at the point they collided. It wasn't his corner. He was almost a car's length behind. That's why he hit him at the back, not the front." added Ecclestone.

"10 seconds was not right. The punishment did not fit the crime."

90-year-old Ecclestone now believes Hamilton can use his win at Silverstone to drive him on to claim a record eighth World Championship.

"Lewis has got his act together and I now think he will win the title. He had lost an edge before Sunday but he did what he needed to do." he explained.

"I can guarantee that this incident has got his confidence back, in a way it hasn't been there all year. He has a better chance than before. It has given him a lift and it's back to the old Lewis."

Hamilton trails 23-year-old Verstappen by just eight points now with 13 races remaining in the Formula One calendar, with the Hungarian Grand Prix next up on August 1.

As for the Constructor's Championship, Verstappen's Red Bull lead Hamilton and Bottas' Mercedes by just four points.

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