Max Verstappen asserts he could see Carlos Sainz’s and Oscar Piastri’s collision at the Belgian Grand Prix was going to happen on the run to the first corner.
Sainz and Piastri collided on the opening lap of the race, with both suffering race-ending damage.
Sainz suggested after the race that Piastri was more to blame for the clash, while Piastri labelled it a racing incident.
Verstappen, who started sixth on the grid, has history with Turn 1 at Spa-Francorchamps, as in 2016, he retired after coming together with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
“Yeah, lap one, Turn 1 – my start was OK, but then I could see Carlos lock up, so you had to go to the inside,” Verstappen said.
“But then of course, Oscar was kind of there as well and then they both went deep into the corner.
“So I knew exactly what was going to happen, because I have had the same thing happen to me in 2016, I think it was or something.
“So it’s like, ‘OK, I’m going to stay out of it, I go wide’. But then, of course, they had damage.
“And you have to wait and see what they’re going to do on the exit, because I could see Oscar couldn’t really steer anymore.
“So we lost a little bit of momentum there, but luckily, it was all OK. And of course, I also got Carlos into Les Combes.”
Verstappen went on to win the grand prix ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez, extending his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 125 points.
Explaining the rest of his race after escaping unscathed from the Turn 1 incident, Verstappen said: “From there onwards, basically, my race started.
“But I was a bit unlucky, because I got stuck behind Lewis, because he was in the DRS of Charles, and with them having the highest top speed, Lewis, this weekend, it was just impossible to pass.
“So I had to wait for him to drop out of the DRS and as soon as he didn’t have DRS anymore, I could pass.
“And then I think two or three laps later, I could pass Charles. But with that, I think I hurt my tyres a bit too much.
“So basically, as soon as I had my stop on to the Medium, I could feel that the car was in a much better window and I could go a lot faster.
“So yeah, from there onwards that was really where it started to come alive. And really enjoyable to drive and once I got into the lead, also, I could really look after the tyres as well.
“But then, of course, the rain started to come down. So you had to slow down quite a bit in some places. And once that cleared, we went back to a Soft tyre set and, again, the car was well balanced.
“It shows that, you know, once you’re not in traffic, how much better you can be on tyres. So yeah, it was, again, a great race.”