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Australian GP scare as pile-up nearly causes crash after Verstappen moans about Hamilton

Daily Express logo Daily Express 02/04/2023 Joe Krishnan
F1 Australian Grand Prix Verstappen Hamilton © Twitter/Sky Sports F1 F1 Australian Grand Prix Verstappen Hamilton

Several F1 cars were involved in a scary close call at the Australian Grand Prix after narrowly avoiding a huge pile-up at Albert Park in Melbourne. The incident came shortly after complained about on his team radio. The Briton led the pack behind the safety car following a red flag restart.

A red flag had been brought out after a heavy shunt for Alex Albon on lap eight as the Williams driver collided with the barrier. That gave the drivers who hadn't pitted a chance to change their tyres for the standing restart.

On their formation lap to warm their tyres, it soon became clear that there would be some traffic in helping space out the cars and a dangerous situation occurred in the final sector when six cars poured into one corner, all in close proximity. The incident nearly caused a high-speed crash after confusion over traffic on the track.


At one stage, all five cars on the track essentially came to a stop at Turn 6 and those behind were unsighted, with Kevin Magnussen's Haas running off track. The Dane was fortunate not to collide with his F1 colleagues after taking evasive action onto the grass.

F1 Australian Grand Prix Verstappen Hamilton © Twitter/Sky Sports F1 F1 Australian Grand Prix Verstappen Hamilton

Sky Sports F1's pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz said he was "surprised" that the stewards were not reviewing the incident due to the seriousness of what could have followed. The stewards did look into the matter briefly but decided no further action was warranted, presumably because there was no obvious driver at fault.

During the warm-up, Max Verstappen made a complaint over his team radio about Hamilton, accusing the Mercedes star of breaching safety car rules.

The Red Bull star felt Hamilton had contravened the regulation about keeping within 10 car lengths of the safety car, which is designed to stop drivers leaving too big a gap to reduce the time they spent waiting on the grid.


But it was later revealed that Hamilton was well within his rights to dictate the pace, with FIA rules stating the race leader is able to go beyond 10 car lengths if they wish.

The pair had already come to blows after the 38-year-old passed Verstappen at Turn 2, with the Dutchman claiming he was pushed off the track.

Verstappen would get his wish to pass Hamilton later on, however, using the pace of his RB19 to breeze past Hamilton's Mercedes and retake the lead of the race after a disastrous start saw him fall to third.

And the Dutchman claimed his 37th race win of his career after the race finished behind safety car conditions, with Hamilton second and Fernando Alonso third.


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