Controversy as Lewis Hamilton hits Kimi Raikkonen in pit lane

The Canadian Grand Prix took an astonishing twist as Lewis Hamilton eliminated himself and championship rival Kimi Raikkonen in a pit lane crash.

Hamilton had been leading the race but as the field pitted at once during the safety car Raikkonen and Robert Kubica left their pit boxes before Hamilton.

But the three had to stop for a red light at the end of the pits and Hamilton, apparently not having seen it, hit Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Nico Rosberg then ran into the rear of Hamilton. Raikkonen and Hamilton were eliminated while Rosberg pitted for a new front wing and continued.

Hamilton appeared to have turned to avoid Kubica’s car and hit Raikkonen’s instead. It probably was been that he was trying to avoid the pair of them.

But the less charitable will suggest that, faced with the inevitability of hitting either car, he preferred to take out the driver who was his more likely championship rival.

Afterwards Hamilton said he’d seen the red light but didn’t manage to stop his car in time.

The stewards will investigate the collision after the race.

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132 comments on Controversy as Lewis Hamilton hits Kimi Raikkonen in pit lane

  1. Oliver said on 8th June 2008, 20:26

    Hamilton was aiming for the space beside Kimi while braking, after he realised that the cars in front of him had stopped. Its likely those lights where green when they pitted and changed to red while they were about to leave the pits. But I still believe the team should be updatating the drivers on the tract status especially in such changeable conditions, I mean in terms of traffic lights and a busy pit lane.

  2. Frodo said on 8th June 2008, 20:26

    Well!
    I really think Hamilton shoudl shot his mouth and think a little! Lately he started acting as a F1 superhero or something like that. His mistake today clearly shows that he has a lot to learn to earn a champion’s title! i dont see any appropriate explanation for him not seeing the red light! How come the others did? Besides what the hell was he watching???

  3. Steve said on 8th June 2008, 20:29

    This’ll be interesting regarding a penalty. As was stated in Monaco, if a rookie had made that error, they would have gotten a penatly. Although the incoident wouldn’t have warranted it (to me, anyway), I could have seen that being the case.

    I’m guessing Hamilton will get away with no penalty, though, as ever, the hypothetics of if a more inexperienced driver had made the mistake had got a penalty will remain.

  4. Steve said on 8th June 2008, 20:30

    Add: By the Moncao incident, I’m making reference to Kimi on Sutil

  5. P5ycH0 said on 8th June 2008, 20:45

    Sigh. Why are these lights not bigger?
    Just make it the size of a 60″ television.

    Or send the signal electronically to the cars.
    You know, just like the indycars have in a yellow zone.

  6. P5ycH0 said on 8th June 2008, 20:47

    Also I don’t buy the safety car passing by story.
    How come 1 second later the light DID went green?
    Did the whole safety-car pack roll by in 1 second? I don’t think so.
    What was the reason the lights were red?

  7. P5ycH0 said on 8th June 2008, 20:50

    Duh, It was because of the last few cars behind the safetycar……

  8. Steve said on 8th June 2008, 20:50

    It was the pack passing. Bear in mind they all dived into the pits once the pit lane had opened while following the safety car, there were still drivers a way back behind that had to catch up. So the pack would still be passing, but the very tail of it. That was the reason for the red light. That’s the reason Massa, Fisi and Montoya have been disqualified from this race in the past, and may have caught out Hamilton if no-one was there in front judging by his speed.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2008, 20:53

    Afterwards Hamilton said:

    It is a lot different if you crash into the wall and are angry, it is not like that. I apologise to Kimi if I cost him the race, but these sort of things happen.

    P5ycH0, I would expect it was because of the safety car and other cars going past. We’ve had drivers not see or ignore red lights at Montreal in 2005 and 2007 under very similar circumstances.

  10. verasaki said on 8th June 2008, 21:06

    i was juggling other things while watching and don’t really multi task well so forgive me for being stupid, but when they opened the pits for refueling, didn’t everyone already know the safety car was out? surely they don’t close pit exit every time the safety car goes by?

    i think there were a couple of things in play here: a. dumb to close the exit when everyone already knows the sc is out on track-especially when the pit gets that busy, i mean that was asking for a pile-up b. whoever is talking to the driver while they’re in the pit should know & advise them the exit is closed c.hamilton made a really silly error by not paying better attention, but i’m sure with the traffic in that pit lane he was distracted. i’m not giving the kid a pass here, personally i was laughing my tukas off even though it was one of my guys he hit, but let’s face it plenty of world champions with several years of experience behind them have done silly stuff.

  11. video being taken down from youtube in 5… 4…. 3…. 2…

  12. Steve K said on 8th June 2008, 21:09

    Why not leave the pits closed until everyone is lined up behind the safety car? It just seems stupid to not allow a car back on track from the pits at any time. Red flag the race then. (Not a Lewis or Kimi fan)

  13. Architrion said on 8th June 2008, 21:10

    It was no Hamilton fault at all.. In fact that guys that seem to be called drivers?… ejem… named Raikkonen and Kubica should have stepped apart or even jump the red light when they saw coming a future world champion at meteor full speed. They must receive a penalty inmediatly, 5 or 6 races freezed would be fantastic. And they should come and offer our beloved and glorious Hami half the WDC points they have at this moment just to remember they can’t do this again. I’ve said.

  14. Steve said on 8th June 2008, 21:17

    Steve K – They do leave the pits closed until they’re all lined up. Once they’ve done that, the pitlne is opened and drivers can pit. Some drivers choose not to and stay behind the safety car. They continue around on the track and over the pitlane exit. Until the last car still behind the safety car has left the designated area that would be dangerous for joinging drivers to enter at if cars are coming past, the re dlight at the end of the pit lane stops the drivers from coming abck on the track.

  15. Robert McKay said on 8th June 2008, 21:19

    Both Hamilton and Rosberg docked ten grid slots for the French Grand Prix as a penalty, says grandprix.com

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