Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton hits back at Max Verstappen after clash
Fireworks between Hamilton and Verstappen after clash as world champion says Red Bull driver is making "quite a few mistakes"
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 13/12/18 12:12pm
Lewis Hamilton has accused Max Verstappen of showing him no "respect" at the Bahrain GP and believes the Red Bull driver is making too many mistakes.
The duo came together on the second lap of an enthralling race, with Verstappen suffering a left-rear puncture and subsequently retiring due to the damage on his RB14.
But while Verstappen blamed the reigning world champion for the collision, Hamilton has hit back and says the Dutchman, who spun out of contention at the season-opening Australian GP, must cut out his errors.
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"There needs to be a certain respect between drivers," claimed Hamilton. "And ultimately… maybe I need to go and watch the manoeuvre again, but it didn't feel like a respectful manoeuvre.
"It was a silly manoeuvre for himself, because he didn't finish the race. And obviously he's tending to make quite a few mistakes recently, so it was just unnecessary for him to do that."
Verstappen lined up 15th on the grid but enjoyed a great start to close in on Hamilton, who was ninth, and made a move up the inside of Turn One.
The contact with the Mercedes ended his race, while Hamilton finished on the podium, and Verstappen had earlier told Sky F1 that the world champion didn't leave him enough room.
"I had a good run out of the last corner so I went for the inside," Verstappen insisted. "Lewis was trying to go around the outside but at one point I was ahead.
"I think Lewis still had enough space on the left but I got a touch on the left rear and it destroyed my diffuser.
"I think if it was the other way around he would have said something. From my side I gave him enough room."
It was a double disaster for Red Bull as Daniel Ricciardo was also forced to stop early on.
As Verstappen limped back to the pits following the collision with Hamilton, he passed a stationary Ricciardo as the Australian suffered a suspected electrical engine issue.
Ricciardo, who started on the second row, pulled to the side of the track after losing power completely as he chased down Kimi Raikkonen in third.
"I lost all power, I had nothing," Ricciardo said.
"Being out so early in a race is really the worst feeling, especially when it's a night race. You wait all day for those two hours. This sport can rip your heart out, it's brutal."