Red Bull left the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with no points after Max Verstappen had a first lap crash and Sergio Perez finished outside the points.
The controversial incident that took out Verstappen came after nine corners of the first lap of the race. Verstappen was starting from pole after winning the sprint qualifying session on Saturday while his main championship rival Lewis Hamilton began second.
After some aggressive racing between the two on the opening lap, Verstappen and Hamilton made contact with one another at the Copse corner, with the Mercedes tapping the right rear of the Red Bull.
Verstappen’s Red Bull duly span at high speed into a trackside barrier, losing a wheel in the process and making a heavy impact with the barrier later measured at 51G. The driver later posted social media messages confirming he was OK.
This lead to the race being stopped, with Verstappen able to extract himself from his severely damaged car but taken to first the circuit medical centre and then a local hospital for further checks after complaining about dizziness.
Hamilton was given a ten second time penalty for causing the crash but still won the race, overtaking Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the final stages to win the British Grand Prix for an eighth time.
It means Verstappen’s lead in the championship is reduced to 8 points. The Dutchman has 185 points to Hamilton’s 177 points, with the Hungarian Grand Prix in two weeks time due to be the last before the summer break.
As for Perez, the Mexican started from the pit lane after having several set-up changes made between sprint qualifying and race, with the driver having been due to start last anyway following a spin in sprint qualifying.
In the final stages, Perez was running 10th, but Red Bull opted to make a tactical choice to pit him and set a fastest lap to ensure Hamilton didn’t take the fastest lap point. This turned out to be successful, though Perez was ultimately classified 16th and scored no points.
Perez now sits in 5th place in the championship, sitting 4 points behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and 9 points behind Lando Norris of McLaren.
In the Constructor’s Championship, Red Bull remain top of the pile, but the Milton Keynes-based team saw their advantage slashed to just 4 points above rivals Mercedes, who picked up a first and third place finish in the race.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner initially gave angry comments on Sky Sports shortly after the race finished, calling it a “hollow victory”, saying “I hope Lewis is very happy with himself”, and feeling that Hamilton’s punishment was not severe enough.
In further post race comments on the Red Bull team website and his own social media, Horner added, “This is an incredibly difficult way to end the British Grand Prix weekend and it goes without saying that we are all just thankful Max was able to walk away from the car, despite later being taken to hospital for precautionary checks, where he currently remains for observation.
“I have reviewed the footage many times and still cannot help but feel that putting a wheel up the inside at Copse, one of the fastest corners in this World Championship, was ill-judged and a huge risk by Lewis to both drivers.”