Verstappen speaks out over Hamilton close call
Max Verstappen almost hit disaster in qualifying for the US Grand Prix, narrowly avoiding a low-speed collision with Lewis Hamilton and Daniil Kvyat.
The cars ended up three-wide at the end of Q2 as they jostled for position for their final runs. Kvyat ended up being forced wide to avoid contact, which Verstappen blamed on Hamilton.
Verstappen, Hamilton and Kvyat almost crashed during qualifyingGetty Images
“We were all lining up to do our lap to get to the last corner," Verstappen said.
"I had Daniil in front of me and we were all just slowing down to make space.
“Then Lewis just drove by like nobody was there and didn’t care.
"I was like, 'Well if you don’t care, I don’t care’.
"I tried to get my position back, because everybody was just respecting each other at that point just to start the lap.
"That’s why it was such a close call.”
The race stewards noted the incident but subsequently determined that no further action was required, meaning that none of the drivers involved were called to the stewards' office to explain what had happened.
However Kvyat's final lap ended up being deleted because he exceeded track limits, meaning that the Russian starts tomorrow's race from 13th.
Hamilton and Verstappen are developing a rivalry on the trackGetty Images
"It’s a shame my last lap got deleted as I only went off track by the smallest of margins, but rules are rules," the Toro Rosso driver said.
Despite Verstappen's spat with Hamilton, the Dutchman felt he had proved that Red Bull had made some significant progress over recent weeks and was once again in the mix to claim victory on Sunday.
"I think for us, on this track, to be that competitive was a very good result," Verstappen said, after finishing third-fastest in the final round, just 0.067s off the pole winner.
"Qualifying was just very tight. In the end we were very close, of course you would like those 67 thousandths to be to your advantage, but it was not."
His team principal Christian Horner said: "It’s ridiculously close.
"It’s good to line-up on the second row of the grid and especially to see the cars’ competitiveness at this circuit."