Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen ‘both need to take responsibility’ for Italian Grand Prix crash that could have been avoided, says Sir Jackie Stewart

Sir Jackie Stewart believes both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen need to responsibility for the crash that saw them exit the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton and Verstappen collided for the second time in five races in Monza as their rivalry keeps on going.

Hamilton was lucky to come through the clash without serious injury

Verstappen was deemed at fault for the coming together and punished with a three-place grid penalty at the next round in Russia.

On lap 26 of 53, Verstappen approached the Variante Del Rettifilo at 225mph as Hamilton exited the pit-lane.

Verstappen attempted to squeeze past Hamilton at the right-left chicane, but ran off the track and on to the kerbs.

The Dutch driver was sent out of control and airborne into Hamilton’s path, with the rear-right wheel crushing the top of the Mercedes.

Mercifully, the halo protection device, which sits above the driver’s head, absorbed the impact of the Red Bull.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton was able to walk away, complaining only of a stiff neck and soreness.

The halo thankfully saved Hamilton from serious injury

Stewart told talkSPORT: “It was yet another experience of the two drivers being a little bit over anxious to get on with the job.

“It was an early part of the race and not something you want to push too hard on to begin with.

“It’s a circuit where there is an opportunity to pass on one or two other areas.

“As in Silverstone when there was a collision between both drivers, I think both of those cases could have been avoided.

“They were both too early in the race to be really pushing in that fashion and situations where anybody could have been thrown in the air, upside down, it could have been a very serious situation.

“It would have been very difficult to say who was guilty. The governing body has made a decision, but it was such a weak penalty that only three places at the next Grand Prix Verstappen would have to move back. That’s a very small penalty.”

Verstappen stormed off in anger after the incident, and he was later hit with a penalty

He added: “I think both drivers have to take some responsibility for it. It was a corner they all know because that corner simply wasn’t there in my day.

“It has been put in because the race track was so fast and dangerous that they had to carry out slowing down procedures. That’s what that corner has done.”

Verstappen currently leads Hamilton by just five points in the neck-and-neck race.

When asked who he thinks could win the championship, Stewart added: “I think they (Mercedes) have the best package at the moment, but Red Bull have really shown themselves to bet hot.

“I think it will be between both of them. Verstappen, I think now is the fastest driver in the business, but is still slightly in the puppy stage.

“At the same time, Lewis may be approaching the end of his career in Formula 1, so I think the future holds more in the Verstappen field. But don’t count out Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton is an extremely good driver.”