FORMULA 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was lucky to escape with his life after a horror crash with Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Hamilton had just returned to the track after pitting and was battling with Max Verstappen and Lando Norris going into a narrow turn when the two world championship contenders collided.
The 36-year-old took to social media to thank his fans for their support and to update them on his condition after the near miss in Monza: "It's days like today, I am reminded of how lucky I am.
"It takes a millisecond to go from racing to a very scary situation. Today someone must have been looking down, watching over me!
"My necks a bit sore as the adrenaline wears off – it was a bit of a hit on the head, so naturally I have one big headache but I'm doing okay!
"The halo stopped the crash from being a lot worse and I'm incredibly grateful to all those that work to make our cars and racing safer. TeamLH … the support I receive from you keeps me pushing and fighting.
"I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you, you are truly the best. Still we rise!
Hamilton was the last to pit of the trio involved, coming out just behind Norris and slightly ahead of Verstappen, who was trying to make up for lost ground after his disaster 11.1 second pitstop.
The Dutchman, 23, tried his upmost to catch Hamilton, who was narrowly ahead going into the corner, only to run out of track and crash into the sausage kerb at speed.
The two cars then went hurtling off the track and Verstappen's car went into the air and landed on top of Hamilton, who was only protected from Verstappen's tyres by the halo on his car.
The two world championship contenders were both stuck in the gravel and out of the race, leaving the path clear for Daniel Ricciardo, 32, to win and for Lando Norris, 21, to score P2 in a huge triumph for McLaren.
Both drivers protested their own innocence after the race, with Hamilton claiming he left enough space for Verstappen to stay on the track and that he was clearly ahead of his championship rival on the chicane.
Verstappen, on the other hand, claims the incident could have been avoided if he had been left more space going into the corner and that he was 'squeezed' off the track by Hamilton.
Ultimately, Verstappen was found to be at fault for the collision and has been handed a 3-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in a couple of weeks time.
After the race, the stewards said that they "reviewed the video evidence and determined that the driver of Car 33 [Max Verstappen] was predominantly to blame for the collision with Car 44 [Lewis Hamilton] at Turn 2.”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said he believed the crash was the result of a racing incident, but went on to say that Red Bull would not appeal the stewards' verdict.
“We are disappointed with the three place grid penalty, but accept the stewards decision," he said.
"We felt what happened between Max and Lewis was a genuine racing incident.
"You can argue for both sides but ultimately it’s frustrating and disappointing to see both cars out of the race in what is proving to be an exciting championship."
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Sunday's result means that Verstappen stays on top of the championship leaderboard on 226.5 points with Hamilton in close second on 221.5 points.
Norris' P2 in Monza takes him up to 132 points, behind third-placed Valtteri Bottas on 141 points, who will be leaving Mercedes for Alpha Romeo at the end of the season.
With eight races still to go and no runaway leader, this world championship could go right down to the wire and make for one of the most exciting ends to a Formula 1 season in recent years.
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