Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen turned the clocks back to 2021 in Brazil as they collided on track for the first time this season.

Last year’s title rivals collided on track three times in 2021 but had not come to blows this year.

That changed after a Safety Car restart on lap seven at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Verstappen getting alongside Hamilton on the outside of the Turn 1 left hander. As the pair entered Turn 2 fighting for second place they made contact, sending Hamilton off the circuit and dropping both drivers down the order.

Verstappen, who dropped down to 17th, told Red Bull: “He left me no space”

Hamilton told Mercedes: “That’s no racing incident, mate”

The stewards decided Verstappen was more at fault, handing the Red Bull driver a five-second penalty for the incident.

When told about the penalty, Verstappen said: “Where did they expect me to go? He just closed the door on me.”

In 2021 their collisions divided opinion across the paddock.

At Silverstone, Verstappen was punted out of the race on Lap 1 by Hamilton. The stewards have Hamilton a 10-second penalty but he still came back to win the race.

Verstappen’s car ended up on top of Hamilton’s when they clumsily collided at the Italian Grand Prix, before the pair hit each other again at the penultimate race in Saudi Arabia.

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collide in Brazil

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