Mercedes believe Red Bull had an inkling Max Verstappen was at fault for the Lewis Hamilton accident at the Italian Grand Prix, as they didn’t apportion blame immediately towards the seven-time world champion.
The pair tangled on lap 26 of the race in Monza as Hamilton was exiting the pits, coming out alongside Verstappen.
The Dutchman then hit the kerbs, propelling the Red Bull into the air and colliding into the Mercedes, landing awkwardly on top of the car and grazing Hamilton’s helmet.
Verstappen was handed a three-place grid penalty for being “predominantly to blame” for the incident, which saw both cars beached in the gravel, with the Red Bull mounted on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes.
In the aftermath, Christian Horner was on the fence as to who was at fault.
“I think he earnt enough to be given a bit more space to work with on the left there, so you can probably argue it from both sides so I think if you take a middle ground on it you’d say it was a racing incident,” began Horner, speaking to Sky Sports.
Mercedes question Max Verstappen’s tactics in Lewis Hamilton crash
“I think if you look at the fact even Helmut and Christian weren’t trying to blame Lewis, it sort of feels like they know Max was in the wrong, because they will try and blame Lewis at any opportunity.”
Verstappen still holds a five-point lead thanks to a second-place finish in the sprint race, with Hamilton scoring no points across the weekend.
However Shovlin believes without the accident, Hamilton would’ve had a good chance at the win.
“If you take the incident with Max, put it to one side, for Lewis it would’ve been a race against only Daniel,” he said. “And the issue in the sprint race [when Hamilton couldn’t pass Norris] was Lando had some tow from the car ahead.