‘Not the first time!’ – Verstappen criticises Hamilton over block

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‘Not the first time!’ – Verstappen criticises Hamilton over block

Max Verstappen was critical of Lewis Hamilton’s driving after appearing to be blocked by the Mercedes driver during second practice at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Already frustrated by a surprising lack of pace at Imola on Friday, Verstappen was visibly infuriated when Hamilton impeded him at the Villeneuve chicane.

The Dutchman gestured at Hamilton and drove towards the Mercedes, before the Brit offered a hand of apology. The incident was not noted or investigated by the stewards.

“It’s not the first time,” Verstappen said when asked about the incident with Hamilton.

“You try to, of course, always stay calm about it, but it happened again.

“But on the other hand, also I don’t want to really talk about it too much because that’s not our issue today. We were just severely off pace that we need to fix.”

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Max Verstappen suffered a challenging session after coming off the track twice during FP1 in Imola.

As his hand of apology suggested he would, Hamilton accepted responsibility for the incident in his post-session interview.

“I was on a cool-down lap, I thought I would have been well clear but all of a sudden he was like right on me,” the seven-time world champion said.

“Ultimately it was my mistake and I tried to apologise, but I think he was too frustrated already.”

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Max Verstappen reacted to the incident between Lewis Hamilton holding him up as not the ‘first time’ it’s happened, while the Mercedes driver admitted it was his mistake.

Verstappen wasn’t the only driver Hamilton irked during second practice, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso also criticising the Brit over team radio.

“Hamilton thinks that he’s alone on the track,” Alonso said. “It’s the second lap he does it. Turn 12, and now Turn 7.”

Neither of the incidents Alonso was referring to were noted or investigated by the stewards.

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Fernando Alonso was unhappy with Lewis Hamilton’s speed during second practice at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Hamilton: Mercedes a lot closer

Despite struggling to stay out of the way of his rivals, Hamilton was pleased with the pace of his Mercedes after finishing fourth in second practice.

Mercedes have brought the second half of their first major upgrade package of the season after using some new parts in Miami two weeks ago.

Both Hamilton and his team-mate George Russell, who was fifth, finished ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and both Red Bulls in second practice.

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Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok and Harry Benjamin talk us through the story of Friday practice ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

“It’s been a good start to the weekend,” Hamilton said.

“We’re a lot closer than we have been, it seems. But we’ll see how tomorrow goes.

“Really grateful to everyone back at the factory for pushing so hard to bring these upgrades because we are seeing improvements in the car and our performance on track.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Emilia Romagna GP schedule

Saturday May 18
9am: F3 Sprint
11:15am: Emilia Romagna GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)
1.10pm: F2 Sprint
2.10pm: Emilia Romagna GP Qualifying build-up
3pm: Emilia Romagna GP Qualifying
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
5.30pm: Indy 500 Qualifying

F1 visits Europe for the first time in 2024 with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola

Sunday May 19
7.30am: F3 Feature Race
9am: F2 Feature Race
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Emilia Romagna GP build-up
2pm: The EMILIA ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: Emilia Romagna GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
8pm: Indy 500 Qualifying

Formula 1 heads to Europe as Imola returns to the calendar following last year’s cancelled race. Watch the Emilia Romagna GP this weekend, with Sunday’s race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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