Motor racing: Hamilton and Verstappen collide and crash at Monza

 The pair collided at the first chicane and Max Verstappen's car wedged on top of Lewis Hamilton's in the gravel.
The pair collided at the first chicane and Max Verstappen's car wedged on top of Lewis Hamilton's in the gravel.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONZA (REUTERS) - Formula One title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided and crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sunday (Sept 12).

Mercedes' seven-time world champion Hamilton had pitted and returned alongside Red Bull's championship leader, with the pair colliding at the first chicane and Verstappen's car wedged on top of the Briton's in the gravel.

Both drivers stepped out and the safety car was deployed.

"That's what happens when you don't give space," said Verstappen on the team radio.

Verstappen had started the day five points clear of Hamilton after finishing second in Saturday's sprint race for a bonus two points.

The Dutchman lost out at the start to McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo, who led the race ahead of British teammate Lando Norris with 20 laps to go. McLaren have not won a Formula One grand prix since 2012.

Verstappen had been running in second place but lost 11 seconds in a slow pitstop that dropped him down to 10th place while Hamilton passed Norris to take the lead with Ricciardo having already pitted.

Hamilton pitted three laps after Verstappen and went wheel-to-wheel with his rival after rejoining the track, with the cars making contact and the Red Bull lifting off the kerb and into the air.

Hamilton's halo head-protection device seemed to take the brunt of the impact as the Red Bull came down on top of the Mercedes.