Hamilton rejects Verstappen’s “disrespectful” F1 celebration claim

Lewis Hamilton has rejected Max Verstappen’s claim that Mercedes’ celebrations following the British Grand Prix were “disrespectful” ahead of this weekend’s Formula 1 race in Budapest.
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 celebrates entering parc ferme.
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 celebrates entering…
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Hamilton claimed a record eighth victory in front of his home crowd last time out at Silverstone, ultimately benefiting from a tangle with title rival Verstappen into Copse on the opening lap.

With Hamilton spending Verstappen into the barrier on the opening lap, the crash was recorded at 51G, resulting in the Red Bull driver being sent to hospital for precautionary checks.

Both Verstappen and Red Bull criticised the celebrations after the race, with the current championship leader reiterating his disapproval of them ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton dismissed any suggestion that they were disrespectful as he believes it was a “natural” reaction to winning in front of his home crowd.

“I don’t believe our behaviour was disrespectful,” Hamilton said in the pre-race drivers’ press conference. “But as I said, it’s one thing knowing and then celebrating what happened and there’s one thing not knowing and celebrating.

“As I told you, I wasn’t aware. But its my home grand prix and we worked incredibly hard for God knows how long to get a result like that and what a monumental moment it was for us to experience the whole home crowd being there for the first time since last year was missed. Emotions were running high.

“It wasn’t an intentional celebration, it was just the joy of seeing so many people and so many people celebrating, being together. That’s the natural emotion. I’m not going to hide my emotions. It was an amazing feeling to see so many people.”

Hamilton confirmed again that he wasn’t initially aware that Verstappen was taken to hospital.

“There’s not a huge amount to add,” Hamilton explained. “As I said at the last race I really was not aware. I saw on the screen that he had got out of the car and he looked OK and I was told he was fine. I wasn’t aware until the media press pens afterwards that he had visited the hospital.”

“None of us ever want to see another driver injured, or in harm’s way, or put another driver in harm’s way. Our focus is solely on this weekend. I did give Max a call after the race to just check he was OK and let him know the respect is still there, but obviously, it’s still not reciprocated. But that’s OK.”

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