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Lewis Hamilton escapes tragedy by inches as title rival Max Verstappen’s car lands on his HEAD

British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton was inches from tragedy at the Italian Grand Prix after title rival Max Verstappen’s car flew over his head after they took each other out of the race.

Verstappen’s Red Bull flew off a ramped curve at Monza and onto the top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, with only the protective Halo device preventing the reigning world champion from serious injury.

The Red Bull went nose-first into the gravel with both drivers emerging from the carnage unscathed in the latest dramatic twist in an increasingly heated world championship duel. 

Verstappen didn’t hang around to check on the condition of Hamilton, instead storming off to the pit lane having ranted to his team via radio, with the British driver emerging from the cockpit of his car a few minutes later.  

Lewis Hamilton was saved from serious injury by the protective Halo device on his Mercedes after the Red Bull of Max Verstappen flew off a banked curve and up over his car during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza

The rear end of Verstappen's Red Bull came within inches of Hamilton's head after their dramatic collision at Monza

The rear end of Verstappen’s Red Bull came within inches of Hamilton’s head after their dramatic collision at Monza

The two drivers took each other out as they tussled for position in the latest dramatic twist in their championship tussle

The two drivers took each other out as they tussled for position in the latest dramatic twist in their championship tussle

Verstappen's Red Bull flies over Hamilton's Mercedes after they collided jostling for position on the first corner of the 26th lap

Verstappen’s Red Bull flies over Hamilton’s Mercedes after they collided jostling for position on the first corner of the 26th lap

The Red Bull was left nose-first in the gravel trap with the Mercedes wedged underneath after the sensational crash

The Red Bull was left nose-first in the gravel trap with the Mercedes wedged underneath after the sensational crash

The dramatic moment happened on lap 26 of 53 at the Italian circuit. As Hamilton left the pit lane, Verstappen drew up alongside him and they duelled for position at the Variante Del Rettifilo chicane.

Dutch driver Verstappen ran wide and the raise kerb launched his Red Bull into the air, with the rear of the machine landing on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes, which had been forced off the track.

Verstappen’s car also ploughed into the gravel trap at the side of the track, with the back of his Red Bull left resting on Hamilton’s car.

The two championship rivals jostled for position on the chicane after Hamilton had just emerged from the pit lane

The two championship rivals jostled for position on the chicane after Hamilton had just emerged from the pit lane

Wheel-to-wheel, the two drivers refused to give an inch with Verstappen forced wide to mount a 'sausage ramp' on the curve

Wheel-to-wheel, the two drivers refused to give an inch with Verstappen forced wide to mount a ‘sausage ramp’ on the curve

Verstappen criticised Hamilton for not giving him enough room on the team radio before leaving his car and storming off

Verstappen criticised Hamilton for not giving him enough room on the team radio before leaving his car and storming off

Hamilton emerged unscathed from his Mercedes a few minutes later with the Red Bull still resting on the front section

Hamilton emerged unscathed from his Mercedes a few minutes later with the Red Bull still resting on the front section

Hamilton took a moment to inspect the respective damage suffered by the two cars as he and Verstappen crashed out

Hamilton took a moment to inspect the respective damage suffered by the two cars as he and Verstappen crashed out

In a clear sign the incident – the second of the season after they collided during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, sending Verstappen into the tyre wall – will do little to cool tensions between the pair, Verstappen stormed off without checking on Hamilton’s wellbeing. 

‘That’s what happens when you don’t leave any room,’ Verstappen said via radio to his Red Bull team as he exited his car and walked back to the pit lane. 

Hamilton lifted himself out the cockpit of his Mercedes a few minutes later to make the same walk. 

The Briton was almost certainly saved from serious injury by the Halo safety device, a titanium bar placed above the driver’s head that has been mandatory in Formula One since 2018. 

Replays showed Verstappen’s car bouncing off the Halo with Hamilton unable to do little else than duck out the way as the Red Bull’s wheels and rear chassis flew before his eyes. 

The two drivers must await an investigation by race stewards after the race to determine whether they will be penalised.

The Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, of McLaren, went on to win the race, which ran behind a safety car for a few laps after the crash.

The two drivers were embroiled in a blame game after their crash at Silverstone back in July. Verstappen was taken to hospital for checks after a collision of tyres on the first corner saw his Red Bull sent spinning across the gravel and into the tyre wall. 

Hamilton was punished with a 10-second penalty during the race but Verstappen said that ‘was not severe enough for what he caused.’

At the British Grand Prix in July, Hamilton and Verstappen collided at the first corner, sending the Dutchman spinning off

At the British Grand Prix in July, Hamilton and Verstappen collided at the first corner, sending the Dutchman spinning off

Verstappen said afterwards that Hamilton's celebrations after winning at Silverstone while he was still in hospital after the crash showed a lack of respect

Verstappen said afterwards that Hamilton’s celebrations after winning at Silverstone while he was still in hospital after the crash showed a lack of respect

Hamilton went on to win the race at his home circuit but Verstappen claimed his celebrations had been too exuberant while he was still in hospital following the crash.

‘[It is] disrespectful if one guy is in the hospital and the other one is waving the flag around like nothing has happened while you push the guy into the wall with 51G,’ said Verstappen the following week.

‘Not only that, just the whole reaction of the team besides that. That’s not how you celebrate a win, especially a win how they got it.

‘That’s what I found really disrespectful and in a way it shows how they really are, it comes out after a pressure situation. But I wouldn’t want to be seen like that.’ 

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