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Max Verstappen furious with Lance Stroll after collision in Portugal practice

Max Verstappen furious with Lance Stroll after collision in Portugal practice
© Reuters
An eventful second practice session in the Algarve also saw Pierre Gasly forced to leap from his burning car.

Max Verstappen accused Lance Stroll of being “blind” after the pair collided in an eventful second practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

As Valtteri Bottas completed a practice double in Portimao, Verstappen and Stroll crashed at the opening corner.

Verstappen looked to overtake Stroll at the opening right-handed bend, but his front-left tyre made contact with the right rear of the Racing Point.

In a flurry of sparks, the 130mph impact sent Stroll crashing out into the gravel, while Verstappen limped back to the pits in his wounded Red Bull.

“Is this f****** guy blind?” yelled an angry Verstappen over the radio. “What the f*** is wrong with him?”

Stroll’s car was returned to the Racing Point garage on a truck, with Verstappen able to return to the track. The stewards later spoke to both drivers and determined that “neither driver was wholly or predominantly at fault” for the accident. They took no further action against the pair.

During an eventful session ahead of Formula One’s first grand prix here at the Algarve venue, Pierre Gasly was also forced to leap from his AlphaTauri after it caught fire.

Gasly pulled over to the side of the track reporting a technical failure before flames emerged from the rear of his car.

Frenchman Gasly wasted little time jumping out of the cockpit before marshals moved to extinguish the fire.

After he drew level with Michael Schumacher’s victory record at the previous round in Germany, Lewis Hamilton is bidding to become the sport’s standalone most successful driver this weekend with a 92nd career win.

But it was his team-mate Bottas who topped both sessions, with Hamilton second in the first running before having to settle for only eighth later in the day.

The six-time world champion complained of a lack of grip on a track last visited by F1 during a pre-season test in 2009, and he finished 1.4 seconds behind Bottas.

Before his accident with Stroll, Verstappen clocked the second fastest time, more than half a second off the pace, with Lando Norris an impressive third for McLaren. Charles Leclerc took fourth for Ferrari, two places ahead of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

George Russell, whose future at Williams is under scrutiny following the British team’s recent takeover by Dorilton, finished 11th, 1.7sec behind Bottas.

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