Lewis Hamilton agreed it was a ‘big shock’ for him seeing a F1 car on top of his head in Italian GP, as he expands more on the racing against Max Verstappen.
Its been a while that Mercedes’ Hamilton was involved in a nasty incident, where he was the one to have gotten the rough end than his competitor. The F1 Italian GP was not a heavy hit to raise the G-force alarm, but it was still close enough to send shockwaves.
Considering Red Bull’s Verstappen tyres brushed the helmet of Hamilton, where the roll hoop and halo took more of the burnt, the Brit was still shocked to go through it, which could have resulted in a bigger injury than the sore neck he had.
Aside that shock, Hamilton was more worried about the battle with Verstappen and how it could be a problem in the future if it continues on. That’s why the Brit felt the three-place grid penalty was a good precedent for the Dutchman and also others on the F1 grid.
“It was a big shock,” said Hamilton to written media. “I have been racing a long time and you we’re taking risks out there all the time and I guess it’s only when you have experienced something like that, that you get that real shock of how you look at life and realise how fragile we are. As for the penalty, I’m ultimately proud of the stewards.
“I think I need some time to really reflect on it, but I think it definitely sets a precedent. I think it’s an important precedent moving forwards for the safety of the drivers that there are strict rules set in place. I mean, if you look at the start of the race, the same incident or similar, when I went and tried to go around the outside of Max. We are both top drivers, well experienced and I know that I can’t go around the outside of Max.
“You’ve seen it in Imola. He runs you out of the road. You have seen at Turn 4, he runs you out of the road. So in all incidents, I’ve moved out of the way to avoid incident and going over the kerbs. I was ahead in Monza in Turn 1, I left enough room, like a car with on the outside going into the corner, but we barrelled the same, you know, similar sort of speed into the corner.
“And, I was ahead going into Turn 2 and ultimately he lost control over the kerb and went into me. So I don’t feel at fault because I got hit from behind. But ultimately we should, I mean there’s a point in which you have to concede, you’re not going to make the corner and you just got to go across everyone generally has going across the kerbs and I don’t know quite sure why Max didn’t do it,” summed up Hamilton.
The issue of wheel-to-wheel racing is a long debate and anytime incidents like these happens, it is always the situation of ‘if there should be guidelines?” Even though the drivers feel there is some clarity, but incidents keep happening and Hamilton hopes that there can be better protocols for it, considering the safety angle.
“I think, all of us drivers, we are on the edge, when we have the inside line, every single drive of past and present will try to hold onto the position,” said Hamilton. “Of course, when you’re going wheel-to-wheel going into a corner and the car is still alongside you, wheel-to-wheel on the outside, then you have to concede and give extra space.
“When the cars not ahead of you, there is a knowing rule that the driver who is ahead, it’s his corner and eventually the driver has to concede. But I definitely do think, we need to be looking into this and making sure that the right decisions are being made so that we see no one wants to see anyone get injured. If we can put some better protocols in, maybe we can avoid this sort of stuff for future,” summed up Hamilton.
His team boss Toto Wolff concurred with his driver and was more blunt that the Brit. He even thought, it was better to terminate both driver’s races after the Turn 4 incident. But he adds that he understands that no driver wants to give their rivals the room, however, both Hamilton and Verstappen will have to find a common ground to avoid incidents.
“It’s fierce and it’s intense and they need to find a way of how to race each other,” said Wolff. “Either leave room because there will be accidents, if it is not clear, and it is never clear cut actually. The Silverstone one, it was judged to be predominantly. But they know what they are doing in the car and how they are racing each other and we should be watching with interest and hopefully not having eight accidents in the next eight races.
“That means we would lose the title by five points or so. I think if you look at Monza, it was about backing out. On Lap 1, Lewis backed out but the other way around, Verstappen didn’t backed out, but again, maybe I have bias and I see things the wrong way around. But there needs to be some…when the cars are side-by-side, there needs to be room.
“If you are running today in Monaco, I think, we wouldn’t seen such incidents. We don’t drive another car into the wall on Lap 1 and you don’t try to overtake on Turn 4. Maybe it gets a bit complicated to get it but you know what I mean. I think Lewis gave a lot of space in Turn 4 on lap one and avoided a collision. Maybe I am more unsportsmanlike than Lewis because I would have terminated the race there [for both drivers].
“At least, we would have had less engine mileage on the power unit. What happened is the other way around but without avoiding the contact. This is what we need to avoid in the future, taking each other out tactically because you know you have lost the position,” summed up Wolff.
Here’s the new 360 view of the incident: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.watch-hamilton-and-verstappens-monza-crash-in-360.1710879583004212274.html
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Here’s Toto Wolff/Lewis Hamilton and Christian Horner/Max Verstappen’s views