Verstappen/Hamilton crash: Villeneuve defends Dutchman and hits out at 3-place penalty

verstappen hamilton

1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has suggested that the penalty Max Verstappen has been given for his part in the crash with Lewis Hamilton at Monza at the weekend is harsh.

Verstappen and Hamilton went into the first chicane at the Monza circuit side-by-side but did not come out of it like that, with the Dutchman bouncing across the curbs and onto the top of Hamilton’s Mercedes before the pair were beached in the gravel trap.

Many, of course, have had their say since on who was to blame for the incident with the stewards at the Italian Grand Prix opting to lay it at the Dutchman’s door most of all, with him being handed a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix at the end of the month.

Canadian Villeneuve, though, suggests that the penalty is a little too strong, with him explaining his reasons for thinking so via Italian daily Corriere della Sera:

“Max was aggressive. He could have cut the chicane, but then he would have had to give up his spot. Lewis could have given ten centimeters more space, but he wanted to stay in front. So it’s about the intentions. You can’t punish someone and think it was intentional, while the contact happened meters before the moment.


”They gave him a penalty because the Red Bull ended up on top of Hamilton’s head. So you get a penalty for the consequences, and not for the actions, while they always say the consequence shouldn’t count.

”Verstappen is always very aggressive, but with Hamilton, he is even more aggressive. Then when you put those two together in a corner, they start to overdo it. But these moments are part of Formula 1. If you start giving penalties for this every time, then they will never race again because they don’t dare to overtake.”


Ultimately, the penalty stands and Sochi will see Verstappen drop three places from his qualifying spot on the grid come raceday.

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