Lewis Hamilton was shocked by Mercedes' superiority in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix as he continued to apply pressure to world championship leader Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

Hamilton closed the gap in the standings to eight points after his controversial win at Silverstone last time out, where a collision between the seven-time world champion and Verstappen on the opening lap led to the latter retiring.

The fallout from that flashpoint has dominated the build-up to this race and Hamilton was booed by spectators after securing pole position for Sunday's race at the Hungaroring.

Valtteri Bottas closed out a Mercedes front row, with that dominance surprising Hamilton given his team have spent much of the season to date grappling with the problem of Red Bull's superior speed.

"Definitely, definitely not," Hamilton said when asked whether he had expected to be faster than Verstappen and Sergio Perez, who qualified fourth.

"This is a track that they’ve been very strong at for a long time. And given the improvements they made earlier on this year, we thought that we obviously closed the gap a little bit in the last race but we thought they would still have a little bit of an edge.

"We saw today that they changed from their big wing to their smaller wing today. Whether or not that’s hampered them, I don’t know but yeah, it was definitely a real surprise to see us have that sort of pace on them. Of course we’re happy with that."

Mercedes are just four points shy of Red Bull in the constructors' standings and Hamilton is glad to have Bottas for company on the front row as he plots the path to what would be the 100th victory of his F1 career.

"Valtteri did an astonishing job, really boosting the team into the front row, which is honestly… I don’t remember the last time we had a front row together," he added.

"So super positive and it's all down to the amazing work back at the factory and the men and women here are doing a phenomenal job and with everything going on around us, in the outside world and everything.

"People are just staying focused and staying centred and I’m really proud of everyone."

Max Verstappen has angrily hit out at the continued questioning he and Lewis Hamilton are receiving after their Silverstone clash.

Hamilton, who is on pole for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, received a controversial 10-second time penalty having collided with title rival Verstappen on the opening lap at the British Grand Prix last time out.

But while Verstappen was forced to retire from the race and sent to hospital for checks, Hamilton recovered from his punishment and went on to record a famous win that reignited his labouring championship bid.
 
A fierce war of words followed as Red Bull criticised Hamilton and race stewards for what had transpired.

But two weeks on in Hungary, Verstappen has been unimpressed at repeated questions on the matter.

He then hit out when he was asked after qualifying how he and Hamilton would approach the start of this race if they end up wheel-to-wheel once more.

Standings leader Verstappen, who starts third behind Valtteri Bottas and ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, cut off the question at a news conference for the top three drivers.

"Can we just already stop about this because we've had so many f*****g questions about this," he said

"It's just ridiculous, honestly. The whole Thursday we've been answering this stupid s**t all the time. 

"So can we just stop about it please? We are racers. We will race. And, of course, we are going to race hard but fair. We'll just be pushing each other."

As the fallout from the British GP incident continues, Hamilton was booed by the Hungary crowd during qualifying and after recording the fastest time on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver told fans at the circuit they had "fuelled" his success as he seeks a 100th career Formula One win.

Asked about the booing, Verstappen said: "What do you want me to say? It is not correct, of course, but at the end of the day I think we are drivers. 

"We shouldn't get disturbed by these kind of things. You should anyway just focus on what you have to do and that's deliver in the car. 

"Luckily we wear helmets actually when driving. When it matters you don't hear anything. That's maybe a bit different to other sports, probably we are quite lucky with that.

"Of course, it's not nice but it shouldn't influence any of us. I think we are all very professional."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was in a jovial mood after his team's qualifying success and he was shown Verstappen's comments as part of an interview with Sky Sports.

Asked what he thought would happen at the first corner, he joked fifth-placed Pierre Gasly could be primed to benefit from another Mercedes-Red Bull clash.

"Let’s see what happens, I think it's going to be an exciting start," Wolff said.

"Maybe Gasly leads after turn one and all four cars are out! 

"I'm just joking, I hope not. But it will be an exciting turn one and for sure from the strategy, we will see some interesting manoeuvres.

"But if I start teaching my drivers about how to approach turn one, it has actually completely gone off the rails.

"It [the rivalry] is exciting. You guys and everybody needs headlines and that keeps the sport interesting. It keeps stitching us up! But none of them has lost respect for each other, so let's see what happens."

Verstappen's lead in the standings has been cut to eight points, while Red Bull are just four clear in the constructors' championship.

Lewis Hamilton told an angry Hungarian Grand Prix crowd their jeers "fuelled" him as he took pole position at the start of a potentially historic weekend.

The Mercedes superstar was at the centre of controversy two weeks earlier at Silverstone as his crash saw Max Verstappen ruled out on the first lap.

Hamilton recovered from a 10-second penalty to win the race and close the gap significantly in the title race.

That was the defending champion's 99th Formula One victory and he now has a clear sight of the century, albeit only after another Red Bull flashpoint.

Having already secured provisional pole with a time of one minute and 15.419 seconds, which would ultimately prove enough, Hamilton crept in front of the chequered flag to make a second run, delaying Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez, who was unable to get through in time.

It left Hamilton fighting only against Verstappen, who lacked the pace of previous races and has work to do from third on Sunday.

Hamilton's first win as a Mercedes driver came in Hungary and he could be the first driver to win the same event nine times this week, but he was not popular among the locals as he took the microphone.

Greeted with loud boos, the Briton said: "I appreciate the great support I have here.

"Honestly, I've never felt so great with the booing. If anything, it just fuels me. I don't really mind it. It's alright."

Mercedes had gone six grands prix without pole position, their second-longest barren run in the hybrid era.

But Valtteri Bottas followed Hamilton in second place for the Silver Arrows' 80th qualifying one-two, a joint-record alongside Ferrari.

"It was an amazing qualifying lap," Hamilton said having claimed his 101st pole. "I think it's been amazing teamwork from everyone this weekend, Valtteri included.

"Trying to push the car forwards, developing constantly, the guys back at the factory have not left a stone unturned. It's been amazing to see everyone coming together, rallying and pushing forwards."

Verstappen, using the same Honda power unit from his Silverstone crash, was given a far warmer greeting by the Hungarian fans after coming in 0.421 seconds behind Hamilton.

"It's difficult to say the gap, but clearly the whole weekend so far we've been a bit behind," the Red Bull star said. "It showed again in qualifying.

"Of course it's not what we want, but we're still there in P3 and we'll see what we can do. So far, it's not what I want."

Verstappen will start on soft tyres having switched in Q2 to be sure of his place in the final session, one place ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez.

Q2 had briefly been halted due to a crash for Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, with Mick Schumacher also earlier hitting the barriers in FP3 and unable to enter qualifying.
 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:15.419
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.315secs
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.421s
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +1.002s
5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +1.064s
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.070s
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.077s
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +1.234s
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.296s
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +1.331s

Valtteri Bottas recorded the fastest time of second practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix, 0.027s ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas' fastest lap of 1:17.012 helped Mercedes lead the way on their soft-tyre simulations, while championship leader Max Verstappen had to settle for third after his car struggled in the hot temperatures.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez came in fifth, while the Alpine duo of Esteban Ocan and Fernando Alonso finished fourth and seventh respectively.

Three-time World champion Sebastian Vettel finished eighth, with team-mate Lance Stroll completing the top 10 behind McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Mercedes have criticised Red Bull for trying to "tarnish the good name and sporting integrity" of Lewis Hamilton after a request for a review into a collision with Max Verstappen was rejected.

Red Bull asked the FIA to review a 10-second penalty given to Hamilton after a crash that saw Verstappen smash into the barriers at high speed during the first lap of the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen was taken to hospital for checks after a 51G impact with the tyre barrier at Copse Corner and Red Bull argued the punishment handed to Hamilton - who went on to win the race - was not severe enough.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner accused the Brit of "dirty driving" at the time and Formula One's governing body confirmed on Tuesday the team had submitted a petition for a review of the incident.

The FIA's International Sporting Code only permits requests for a review if "a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned."

Red Bull supplied four pieces of evidence, but the stewards did not deem the information provided qualified as a "significant and relevant new element", so Hamilton's win at Silverstone stands.

Mercedes took aim at Red Bull after the verdict was revealed.

A statement from the team said: "In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review.

"We now look forward to going racing this weekend and to continuing our hard-fought competition for the 2021 Formula One World Championship."

Horner said Verstappen's crash with Hamilton cost Red Bull around $1.8million, an outlay that will have "massive ramifications" for the team.

Hamilton heads into this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix just eight points behind Verstappen after triumphing on home soil for a record-extending eighth time.

Max Verstappen is keen to ensure his focus does not drift from the task at hand as the events of the British Grand Prix continue to hang over the Formula One title race.

Verstappen still leads the way in 2021 but saw his advantage cut to eight points at Silverstone after a first-lap crash.

The Red Bull superstar was involved in an incident with rival Lewis Hamilton, who remained on the track, served a 10-second penalty and won the race.

Verstappen fumed at a perceived lenient punishment at the time and Red Bull have since pursued a review.

The driver is happy to now leave that up to his team, though, as attention turns to Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"I don't have much to say on all the media hype [around the crash] and, to be honest, I am not interested in getting involved in any of that," Verstappen said this week.

"I know what happened at Silverstone as I was in the car and obviously I feel a certain way about how my race ended, but now I'm just focusing on making sure we are the best we can be on track so we can stay ahead in the championship.

"The team can take care of the official side of things and anything that needs looking into after the crash, but my job is the same as always – to be the best I can and try to win on Sunday."

Verstappen described himself as "a little bruised" but "feeling good" heading to Hungary.

The Dutchman added he "enjoys Hungary as a track", yet this is an event Hamilton has dominated, having won six of the past nine races in Hungary, including the most recent three in a row.

Indeed, as Verstappen waits on his first victory at the Hungarian GP, a ninth for Hamilton would take him past Michael Schumacher for the outright most ever at a single circuit.

LAST TIME OUT

The 2021 British Grand Prix will not be forgotten about in a hurry.

Verstappen won the inaugural sprint race in qualifying and then, very briefly, looked on course to do the same on the Sunday.

He protected his advantage from pole only as far as Copse Corner on the first lap before a clip from Hamilton took out the Red Bull's tyre.

A 40-minute red flag stoppage followed as the two teams offered contrasting views on the incident, described by Christian Horner as "dirty driving".

Hamilton was able to resume with only the 10-second penalty and was still in contention in fourth after serving his punishment.

The defending champion reeled in Lando Norris, benefited from a switch with team-mate Valtteri Bottas and then finally caught Charles Leclerc.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN HUNGARY

A response, of course! As he has made clear, Verstappen was not enamoured by events last time out and will be determined to hit back.

The opportunity to show off his Red Bull's pace is likely to appeal far more than another dogfight, though. Silverstone offered evidence of how that can go wrong for Verstappen.

Until heading to the United Kingdom, he had been in scintillating form, blowing Mercedes away with three wins on the bounce.

There is intrigue behind the two leading men, too, with Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr finally starting to show again they are capable of mixing it with Norris, Bottas and Sergio Perez.

TOP FIVE OPTA STATS

Closing in – After five races without a win, Hamilton's victory last time out was his 99th in F1. Just as he was the first to a century of pole positions, 100 wins would break new ground.

Briton's breakthrough – It would be fitting if Hamilton did reach that milestone in Hungary, where he claimed his first Mercedes triumph back in 2013. That was his only Silver Arrows success prior to the hybrid era.

Pole pursuit – Hamilton will hope for a better Saturday to improve his chances of victory. Mercedes have not claimed pole in their past six races, their second-worst such stretch of the hybrid era.

Ferrari frustration – Mercedes' issues pale in comparison to Ferrari's. Leclerc was denied by Hamilton's fightback at Silverstone and the Scuderia will be 34 without a win if they fail again this weekend. That would tie their second-worst streak ever.

Streaky McLarens – Norris' run of earning points in 15 successive grands prix is the best run in McLaren's history. Meanwhile, team-mate Ricciardo has finished 26 straight races, the eighth-longest sequence ever in F1.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS 

Drivers 

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 185
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 177
3. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 113
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 108
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 104

Constructors 

1. Red Bull – 289
2. Mercedes – 285
3. McLaren – 163
4. Ferrari – 148
5. AlphaTauri – 49

Red Bull have requested a review with the FIA over the 10-second penalty given to Lewis Hamilton following his collision with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton made contact with title rival Verstappen on the first lap at Copse Corner in this month's race, which the Mercedes driver went on to win despite the penalty.

Verstappen was taken to hospital for checks after a 51G impact with the tyre barrier at Silverstone and Red Bull argued the punishment handed to Hamilton was not severe enough.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner accused the Briton of "dirty driving" at the time and suggested a challenge would be lodged.

Formula One's governing body the FIA confirmed on Tuesday the team had submitted a petition for a review of the incident, with Red Bull and Mercedes officials being summoned to attend a video conference on Thursday.

A review is permitted if "a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned."

Speaking last week, Horner said Verstappen's crash with Hamilton cost Red Bull around $1.8million, an outlay that will have "massive ramifications" for the team.

Hamilton heads into next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix eight points behind Verstappen after triumphing on home soil for a record-extending eighth time.

Mercedes have revealed Lewis Hamilton would have been forced to retire from the British Grand Prix were it not for a timely red flag.

Formula One title rivals Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided during a sensational first lap at Silverstone.

Hamilton was handed a 10-second time penalty that he disagreed with but Red Bull argued was not severe enough.

The Briton recovered to record a famous race win, while Verstappen ended up in hospital for checks after a 51G impact with the tyre barrier.

It meant Hamilton cut Verstappen's lead to just eight points in the drivers' championship.

But the outcome would have been very different had the race not been red-flagged to repair the barrier, as Hamilton would not have been able to continue without the opportunity to repair damage to his wheel rim.

"We'd failed the rim where we'd had the contact on the front-left, so that would have been a DNF had it not been red-flagged," said Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

"The rest of the damage was actually remarkably little. A tyre temperature sensor had got knocked loose, so it was waggling around, but amazingly, it's the least important part on the front wing."

Hamilton passed Charles Leclerc for a famous victory – his eighth at his home race – with two laps to go.

"From our planners' view in the race, who were forecasting it live, we were looking at catching [Leclerc] up with two laps to go," added Shovlin.

"When we thought it was on I'd say was five laps into that [push]. You normally see the drop on the tyres, but you could just see Lewis holding this eight-tenths advantage to Charles every lap.

"And to be honest with Lewis, you can hear it in his voice and in what he's saying on the radio; you just get this switch where he knows in his head he's going to do it."

FIA race director Michael Masi – who was bombarded on radio with messages from Mercedes and Red Bull stating their case during the controversy – felt the stewards had got Hamilton's penalty right.

Masi insisted the severity of any crash, an injury to a driver or the race situation are factors that cannot be taken into account when applying punishments.

"Looking at the incident, I agree with the stewards and the penalty they applied," Masi said.

"I think the wording was clear as per the regulations, [Hamilton] was 'predominantly to blame', not 'wholly to blame' for it.

"He could have tucked in further like what happened with Charles later on and that may have changed the outcome, but we don't know – we have to judge on the incident itself.

"One of the big parts [of stewarding] that has been a mainstay for many, many years [is] that you should not consider the consequences in an incident.

"So when you judge incidents, they judge the incident itself, the merits of the incident and not what happens after as a consequence.

"The stewards have been advised to do from the top down – and I'm talking team involvement and so forth.

"That's the way the stewards judge it, because if you start taking consequences into it, there are so many variables rather than judging the incident itself."

Red Bull have said they are "disgusted and saddened" to see their on-track Formula One rival Lewis Hamilton targeted by online racist abuse.

Formula 1, the FIA and Mercedes released a joint statement on Monday condemning the "unacceptable" abuse aimed at Hamilton following his collision with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton claimed a dramatic victory in Sunday's home race at Silverstone after overtaking Charles Leclerc towards the end.

Red Bull were unhappy with Hamilton over an incident which contributed to them scoring zero points, but they were unequivocal in their stance on the racist abuse he has received as a result.

"While we may be fierce rivals on-track, we are all united against racism," Red Bull wrote.

"We condemn racist abuse of any time towards our team, our competitors and our fans.

"As a team we are disgusted and saddened to witness the racist abuse Lewis received yesterday [Sunday] on social media after the collision with Max.

"There is never any excuse for it, there is certainly no place for it in our sport and those responsible should be held accountable."

McLaren also issued a message of support for their former driver Hamilton, urging all teams to unite and eliminate racism.

The team said: "McLaren stands with Formula 1, the FIA, and our fellow teams and drivers in condemning the deplorable racist abuse towards Lewis Hamilton.

"Racism must be driven out of our sport, and it’s our shared responsibility to unite and eliminate it."

McLaren CEO Zak Brown added in a Twitter post: "Totally unacceptable racist abuse of Lewis Hamilton. These people do not represent F1 fans or our sport. We must come together to get rid of this disgraceful abuse and racism."

The race was a memorable one, with Hamilton recovering from a 10-second time penalty handed to him for the first-lap Verstappen crash as he cut his title rival's championship lead to only eight points.

Hamilton was accused of "dirty driving" by Red Bull boss Christian Horner after clipping Verstappen on Copse Corner, while the Belgian-born Dutch driver labelled his opponent "disrespectful and unsportsmanlike".

Verstappen required hospital checks after hitting the safety barriers in an impact measuring 51G, but he was released later on Sunday after being given the all-clear.

In the aftermath of his controversial but famous victory, Hamilton was subjected to vile racist abuse on Instagram in the comments section of a post by Mercedes celebrating the win.

Formula 1, the FIA and Mercedes have released a joint statement condemning the "unacceptable" online racist abuse aimed at Lewis Hamilton following his collision with Max Verstappen.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton claimed a dramatic victory in Sunday's home British Grand Prix at Silverstone after overtaking Charles Leclerc late in the race.

The 36-year-old recovered from a 10-second time penalty handed to him for a first-lap crash with Verstappen as he cut his title rival's championship lead to only eight points.

Hamilton was accused of "dirty driving" by Red Bull boss Christian Horner after clipping Verstappen on Copse Corner, while the Belgian-born Dutch driver labelled his opponent "disrespectful and unsportsmanlike".

Verstappen required hospital checks after hitting the safety barriers in an impact measuring 51G, but he was released later on Sunday after being given the all-clear.

After Hamilton went on to win the race for an eighth time in his illustrious career, the Englishman was subjected to vile racist abuse on Instagram in the comments section of a post by Mercedes celebrating the victory.

Mercedes, Formula 1 and the sport's governing body the FIA united on Monday to call for action to be taken against those responsible for posting the racial slurs.

"During, and after, yesterday's British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to multiple instances of racist abuse on social media following an in-race collision," the statement read.

"Formula 1, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms. These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions. 

"Formula 1, the FIA, the drivers and the teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport, and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated."

Hamilton recently voiced his support for Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after the England footballers were also subjected to racist abuse on social media after missing penalties in their side's Euro 2020 final shoot-out defeat to Italy.

The England international trio called on social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to do more to tackle problem users on their platforms.

Speaking last year, Hamilton also called for increased diversity in Formula 1 and accused the sport of not doing enough to tackle racism amid the George Floyd protests.

Max Verstappen accused Lewis Hamilton of being "disrespectful and unsportsmanlike" after Sunday's dramatic British Grand Prix.

The title rivals collided during a sensational first lap at Silverstone, and while Hamilton finished top of the podium, Verstappen ended up in hospital.

Verstappen had his championship lead trimmed to eight points by Hamilton's success, which came despite the Mercedes man incurring a 10-second penalty for his part in Verstappen's Red Bull leaving the track and ending in a crumpled heap at Copse Corner.

Hamilton served that time and went on to catch long-time leader Charles Leclerc in the closing laps, celebrating excitedly on the podium as home fans lapped up the Brit's eighth victory in the race.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner accused Hamilton of "dirty driving" within minutes of the crash, later telling Channel 4 that the punishment of the reigning world champion did not "fit the crime".

Hamilton defended himself afterwards and said Verstappen was a "very aggressive" driver, insisting he had not been at fault for the clash of wheels that sent the Dutchman spinning into the barriers.

But Verstappen, who was taken to hospital for checks after being left badly winded by his high-speed crash, took aim at the British driver.

Verstappen wrote on Twitter: "Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn't do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track.

"Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour but we move on."

Later on Sunday evening, Hamilton tweeted his own take on events, saying he was glad the 23-year-old was not badly injured.

"Today is a reminder of the dangers in this sport. I send my best wishes to Max who is an incredible competitor. I'm glad to hear he is ok," Hamilton wrote.

"I will always race hard but always fairly. My team showed grit and perseverance out there."

Horner disputed Hamilton's post-race claim that he had been "fully alongside" Verstappen when their cars collided.

"He was not significantly alongside Max as you can see from the point of contact, Lewis' front left to Max's right rear," Horner said in a Red Bull statement.

"The move was never on and resulted in a 51G impact for Max. We are in contact with Max and Jos [Verstappen, his father] and will provide an update later."

Lewis Hamilton refused to accept responsibility for the sensational first-lap crash that sent title rival Max Verstappen out of the British Grand Prix and into the Silverstone barriers.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said Hamilton was guilty of "dirty driving" and questioned how he would sleep after the incident at Copse Corner that caused Verstappen to need hospital checks.

After the race was red-flagged and once Hamilton served a 10-second time penalty, the British driver went on to win his home grand prix and in doing so cut Verstappen's championship lead to only eight points.

"I've been giving my all this past week," Hamilton said afterwards. "Of course I always try to be measured in how I approach, particularly in battling with Max, he's very aggressive, and today I was fully alongside him and he didn't let me into space.

"Regardless of whether I agree with the penalty, I take it on the chin and I just kept working."

Verstappen was initially treated by medics at Silverstone but then needed to be taken to hospital.

"He's bruised, he's battered, but no broken bones. It was by far the biggest accident of his career," Horner said on Channel 4.

The Red Bull boss made his "dirty driving" claim just minutes after the crash, which saw Hamilton come up on the inside of the pole-sitter, only for their wheels to touch and Verstappen to suffer a crash that left his car a wreck.

"The penalty doesn't fit the crime," Horner said. "He's had no penalty because he's gone on to win the grand prix. It's a desperate move that you wouldn't expect from a seven-time world champion.

"It's just irresponsible and a sign of desperation and it's completely destroyed the car."

Horner said Red Bull would "consider our options" over a possible post-race protest, after Hamilton celebrated a record eighth victory in the British race.

"I don't think Lewis can take any satisfaction from a victory like that because we were lucky today that a driver wasn't badly hurt," Horner said.

"I hope he can sleep well tonight because that's not good driving."

Horner suggested the crash could ramp up the excitement for the rest of the season, backing his young driver to come back strongly.

"He's fit, he'll recover quickly and he's mentally very, very strong," Horner said. "If anything it'll just make him more determined.

"It just raises the stakes. It didn't need to be like that because it could have been a great race between the two drivers today."

Lewis Hamilton closed the gap on championship leader Max Verstappen to eight points, but was accused of "dirty driving" after a stunning first-lap crash between the title rivals at the British Grand Prix.

An eighth triumph in his home race for Hamilton came after he passed the Ferrari of long-time leader Charles Leclerc on the 50th of the 52 laps, but it was a highly controversial victory. Leclerc took second place, with Valtteri Bottas third.

The scathing remark about Hamilton's driving at the start of the race came from Verstappen's Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who was furious with the seven-time Formula One drivers' champion.

Pole-sitter Verstappen and Hamilton, second on the grid, came close to making contact before they finally did so at Copse Corner. Hamilton was looking to overtake Verstappen on the inside, but clipped the Red Bull driver's right rear wheel.

The tyre came flying off and Verstappen's car went crashing across the gravel and into the barriers at high speed, crumpling badly. Verstappen was able to walk away, but was said by Horner to be "massively winded".

It caused the race to be red-flagged, with a delay of around 40 minutes before the grand prix resumed, Mercedes star driver Hamilton served with a 10-second penalty.

Hamilton's reaction to the crash had been to declare on team radio: "I was ahead going in there, man. He turned in on me, man. I gave that guy space."

But Red Bull team principal Horner was livid, describing the punishment as "pretty light" and telling Channel 4: "I think it was a desperate move. Copse is one of the fastest corners in the world, you don't stick a wheel up the inside, that's just dirty driving."

Hamilton came in for his time penalty just after halfway through the 52-lap race, returning to the track behind Leclerc, Mercedes team-mate Bottas and Lando Norris of McLaren.

Hamilton surged past Norris at Copse to climb to third place, before Mercedes told their drivers to switch positions with 11 laps remaining. Leclerc was suddenly under huge threat, Hamilton driving exceptionally well and bringing down the Ferrari driver's lead to barely one second with three laps remaining.

He got past at Copse, ironically, as Leclerc ran wide, and was roared home by the British fans.

Lewis Hamilton was accused of "dirty driving" by Red Bull boss Christian Horner after a first-lap collision put Max Verstappen out of the British Grand Prix.

A breathtaking start to the race culminated in title rivals Hamilton and Verstappen making contact at Copse Corner.

Verstappen was sent spinning off the track and into the barriers, with his car left in a crumpled heap.

The championship leader was able to walk away from the wreckage but was left "massively winded", according to team principal Horner.

It was the most sensational moment of the season, reflective of the intensity of the rivalry between reigning champion Hamilton and this year's leader in the standings.

Hamilton was looking to get ahead of his rival on the inside when wheels touched and Verstappen was sent spinning off the track, Horner denouncing what he considered "a desperate move".

Horner was furious with Hamilton, whose driving was scrutinised by the stewards as the race was red-flagged, with the cars returning to the pit lane while the barrier was repaired.

Verstappen was said to have come out largely unscathed, while Hamilton received a 10-second time penalty when the race eventually resumed.

"He's gone to the medical centre for a check-up. But that's a hell of a relief to see him get out because that corner's one of the fastest on the calendar," Horner told Channel 4.

"[It was] completely out of order [for Hamilton] to stick out a wheel on the inside there. It was way too far. Every driver that's driven this circuit knows you don't stick up the inside at Copse.

"He's done it and obviously his front left has made contact with Max's right rear, on one of the fastest corners in the championship and he's put him in the fence. Thank god he's not been hurt. As you can imagine, we're pretty annoyed about things.

"I think it was a desperate move. He failed to make the move in the first part of the lap which he was obviously geared to do.

"Then it was a desperate move sticking a wheel up the inside. Copse is one of the fastest corners in the world, you don't stick a wheel up the inside, that's just dirty driving.

"That's just not on and I'm just relieved to see our driver's walked away because that could have been a very, very nasty accident."

Max Verstappen crashed out of the British Grand Prix on the first lap after a stunning collision with title rival Lewis Hamilton.

It had been a dazzling start to the race with the front-row pair going neck-and-neck in the opening corners.

They came close to making contact earlier on the lap before they finally did so at Copse Corner, Hamilton looking to overtake championship leader Verstappen on the inside but clipping the Red Bull driver's right rear wheel.

The tyre came flying off and Verstappen's car went crashing across the gravel and into the barriers at high speed.

Verstappen was able to walk away from the incident without any serious injury, but was said by team boss Christian Horner to be "massively winded".

Hamilton reported damage to his Mercedes car over the radio to his team, and told them: "I was ahead going in there, man. He turned in on me, man."

The result was that the race was red-flagged to allow for repairs to be carried out to the barriers, meaning it would have to re-start.

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