Following Sunday’s controversial collision in Monza which saw both title contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton retire from the Grand Prix, two time world champion Fernando Alonso stated he believed there was no danger involved.
Comparing the crash, which netted Verstappen a three place grid drop next time out in Sochi, to the pairs previous coming together earlier in the season at Silverstone, Alonso believes there was much less risk involved due to the lower speeds.
Sunday’s events raised concerns for the safety of Lewis Hamilton, however, after Verstappen’s rear wheel passed over the halo of Hamilton’s Mercedes, even making contact with the Brit’s helmet, before coming to rest at the front of his car. Speaking on the incident, Alonso said: “I just looked at the incident and it seems an unfortunate position and corner and kerb, the car jumps a little bit and they just touched tyre with tyre and the rubber makes one car [fly].
“But it’s low-speed, they are at 30 or 40kph, there is no danger, there is no nothing. So I don’t think that today was a big thing. Silverstone, probably yes, but today it was just a racing incident.”
He continued to highlight similar incidents during the weekend which did not lead to such spectacular results.
“I think Lewis tried to run in turn one to force, maybe, Max to cut the corner. Max doesn’t cut the corner, stay in the outside, but then there is no corner possible to make on the inside for turn two. They both did what they should do and unfortunately they touched each other.
“I saw the replay of this start as well and Giovinazzi [and] Leclerc touched in the same way, Stroll and Perez they touched in the same way, turn one and two, but they didn’t touch wheel-to-wheel, rubber-to-rubber, tyre to tyre. So there is not the same outcome.”
Alonso also mentioned the pair were unlucky to suffer such a crash despite the race stewards stating both drivers could have done more to avoid making contact, while placing the majority of blame on Verstappen who many believe should have ceded the corner, as Hamilton did when he was squeezed by Verstappen in Imola.
“This is a very difficult manoeuvre, turn one, turn two and they’ve been unlucky that they touched tyre with tyre.”