Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes "increased pressure" caused Lewis Hamilton to collide with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix on July 18. The Dutch driver ended up in the barriers as the Mercedes driver went on to win the race overtaking Ferrari's Charles Leclerc with three laps remaining.
Horner seems to be finding it difficult to put the incident behind him, especially after it saw Mercedes claw back most of the deficit in both the Drivers' and Constructors' championships. The Red Bull team was also unhappy that Hamilton received just a 10-second time penalty for the incident, which did not stop him from winning the race.
The Red Bull chief feels Hamilton was feeling the pressure after suddenly becoming the "hunter" rather than the "hunted." He feels the aggressive driving style that saw him make contact with Verstappen was due to the situation of having lost the sprint race in front of his home crowd and the 32-point deficit in the championship, which is now down to eight points.
"No matter how experienced or talented, all drivers experience a build-up of pressure at times and this was a moment of extreme pressure for Hamilton in the championship, becoming the hunter as opposed to the hunted," Horner said, as quoted on GP Fans.
"We all know that these situations can bring out a different driving style and one that is not characteristic of a world champion, but it is at these times that we see the increased risk."
Horner continues to maintain the fault was completely Hamilton's and believes the British driver should have pulled out of the move at Corpse after out-braking himself going into the corner. The Red Bull chief is also certain that had Verstappen remained ahead and in the race, there was little doubt that he would have cruised to a fourth win in five races.
"He was travelling at such a speed that he was never going to make the apex of the corner and his trajectory through Copse meant he was never going to miss Max, even with braking he ran very wide after the accident," Horner added.
"Had Max made it through Copse, I don't think Hamilton would have seen him again that afternoon as he learned in the previous day's Sprint Race."