Hamilton claimed a controversial eighth British GP victory on Sunday following a collision with title rival Max Verstappen during the first lap of the race at Silverstone.

The pair tangled at Copse while battling for the lead, with Verstappen sent crashing out at high-speed. The race had to be suspended while repairs were carried out to the damaged barriers.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin later revealed that Hamilton had sustained damage to his car which the team would not have been able to fix had the red flag not come out.

“We’d failed the rim where we’d had the contact at the front-left,” Shovlin said. “So that would have been a DNF had it not been red-flagged.

“But the rest of the damage was actually remarkably little. There was a tyre temperature sensor that had got knocked loose so it was waggling around. Amazingly, it’s the least important part on the front wing and it was the only one that broke.”

Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty for the incident but turned in a stunning fightback to overtake Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari late on to delight a capacity 140,000 home crowd.

Shovlin explained why Mercedes disagreed with the penalty handed out to Hamilton, adding that Verstappen’s aggressive driving style meant that a collision between the pair was inevitable.

“We didn’t think the penalty was deserved,” Shovlin said.

“If you look at the guide that the stewards have to determine who is at fault in terms of overtaking, Lewis was sufficiently alongside and we felt that Max should have given him racing room.

“If you look at the sprint race and even the opening lap of the main race, Lewis was constantly having to back out of it to avoid a collision and he was able to put his car into a position where he was able to stand his ground.

“Max drives aggressively and it’s inevitable that one day we were going to get an accident there.

“But we were pleased with the job that Lewis did and slightly disappointed to get the penalty, we were just relieved we were still able to win the race.”