The Italian Grand Prix caused controversy a week ago. What not because of the crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton himself, but because of the way both drivers acted immediately afterwards. Daniel Ricciardo steps into the breach for Verstappen and the entire F1 guild.
After the crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion was often accused of trying to back up while Verstappen was still getting out. On the other hand, many people were surprised that Verstappen did not go to check on Hamilton after he literally ran over his head.
When Daniel Ricciardo is asked about the whole thing in the podcast Pardon My Take, he jumps in the gap for Verstappen, who he uses as an example for all Formula 1 drivers, after the hosts indicate that they will be cheering for Hamilton from now on.
“Verstappen bitched about the way Hamilton celebrated his victory (at Silverstone, ed.) while he was in hospital. In Monza he literally drives over Hamilton, and then walks away. He is so competitive that he does not realize it how hypocritical that is,” said the host.
Ricciardo parries that attack on Verstappen, without denying that Verstappen is competitive in nature: “I know Max. I have been his teammate for several years. He is competitive, he is. And maybe he still felt some frustration and anger after Silverstone, so maybe that’s why he was like ‘I’ll just walk away’.
Ricciardo doesn’t believe that he left Hamilton without knowing what he was like: “I saw Lewis try to reverse to get out from under the Red Bull afterwards, so maybe Verstappen concluded that Lewis was fine.”
And if Hamilton hadn’t been okay, Verstappen wouldn’t have left him there, Ricciardo is adamant. No driver would have done that: “Of course there are rivalries among themselves and of course not everyone gets along equally well. But for each of us, if we know that something is going on with the other, we don’t give them our would turn their backs. 100%, hand on my heart.”