Red Bull Racing has confirmed that Max Verstappen has been released from hospital on Sunday evening after the Dutchman was taken by helicopter to Coventry Hospital following his crash with Lewis Hamilton.
Championship leader Verstappen and defending champion Hamilton were involved in a first-lap crash at yesterday's British Grand Prix. After losing out to the Dutchman in the sport's inaugural Spring Qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton was adamant to retake the lead on the opening lap of the tenth round of the 2021 F1 season, launching a series of attacks in the first corners after the start.
The seven-time World Champion then launched a passing attempt through the inside of Copse, one of the fastest corners of the Championship. The Briton ended up tagging the rear of Verstappen's Red Bull, sending him into a high-speed, 51G impact with the barriers.
"Following a first lap incident at Copse Corner between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, we can confirm that Max Verstappen walked away from his car and was immediately taken to Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre," read the team's statement.
"Following an assessment by the trackside doctors at Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, Max was taken by helicopter to Coventry Hospital for further tests and observation. We are pleased to confirm that Max was released from hospital at 22:00 this evening, following a thorough medical examination, without any major injuries.
"Max and the Team would like to thank the trackside Marshalls and medical staff for their exceptional care both on-site at Silverstone and at Coventry Hospital."
Cleared from the hospital after all the checks were ok. Thank you to everyone for all the nice messages and best wishes 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/zBlfbQ8uh4— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 18, 2021
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he was happy to see his driver walk away only with a few bruises from the horrific crash at Copse.
“I think there are rights available to us but unfortunately the stewards are pretty set in their decision and it’d be meaningless to take things further, but we’ll look at it, talk it through shortly, and that would be my initial reaction. Of course you’re putting your fellow competitor's safety in jeopardy and I think a move at that corner, every Grand Prix driver knows, is a massive massive risk.
“You don’t stick a wheel up the inside there without there being a huge consequence. We’re lucky today, after a 51G accident, that there wasn’t someone seriously hurt. What I’m most angry about is just the lack of judgement and desperation in this move, that thankfully we got away with today. But had that been an awful lot worse a 10-second penalty would have looked pretty menial.”
Horner also confirmed Verstappen’s car was completely “written off” in the crash, which could have a significant impact on the team's 2021 budget.
"It is a very expensive accident, written off the car. We still lead both world championships but with a much-diminished lead. It has been a very frustrating day after such a strong day yesterday and I think that probably added to Lewis’ desperation, having lost the sprint race, he was pretty wound up and probably why he made an ill-judged move," Horner concluded.
Speaking to Sky Germany after the British Grand Prix, Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko said that the punishment could have been more severe considering the scale of the accident and Hamilton's behaviour.
"You can't do that with the normal sporting code. I don't know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.
"If a competitor massively touches our rear wheel with his front wheel, then that's no longer a racing accident in the fastest corner of the course. That is negligent to dangerous behaviour," Marko said.