Controversy as Lewis Hamilton hits Kimi Raikkonen in pit lane

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

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

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  1. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 21:49

    Lewis’ team should have informed him about the red light due to the configuration of the Montreal track but that doesn’t in any way excuse his mistake. Even if Lewis had stopped in time, Rosberg would have clobbered him even harder and put him out of the race anyway.

    Good for Kimi for showing restraint. Imagine if it had been Schumi or Nelson Piquet senior.

  2. Cheers Keith/David

  3. bobmarshall
    8th June 2008, 21:54

    Autosport reporting hamilton and rosberg 10 place grid penalty for magny cours


    Hamilton and Rosberg get 10 place penalty, I think its harsh on Rosberg as the time and space he had to react would have been greater if lewis hadn’t have farced that incident out. Hamilton deserves the penalty and I know kimi took out Sutil but that was a wet race in Monaco, besides, Sutil would have got a 25 second penalty for overtakin double yellows.

    Loved Kimi’s reaction, just pointing out the red light to lewis.

  5. 10 place grid penalty?

    If Hamilton had run the red light, he’d have been black flagged. As it was his race ended anyway because he missed the red light and wrecked his car.

    Because he hit a (red) car, his next race is ruined too.

    Surely the penalty for failing to obey a red light is a black flag – if your race is over, that should be the end of it.

    Well done Robert, hope to see him keep the pressure up in the driver’s championship. I’d be pleased to see Lewis win the title, I’d be over the moon if it was Robert.

    Also, great to see DC on the podium again.

  6. AJ – The FIA did deny that Sutil would have gotten a penalty.

    I don’t understand your point about Rosberg – he had more time to react than Hamilton because he got their later, surely?

    But regardless if drivers have difficulty seeing these lights (and going on past experience they certainly seem to) both their teams should have told them the exit light was red.

  7. This incident was clearly a terrible blunder on the part of Lewis Hamilton, the light was obviously red, as Raikkonen and Kubica stopped in time well before Hamilton arrived on the scene.
    In my opinion, this mistake was out of frustration on the part of Hamilton. McLaren, in my belief, made a big mistake by not bringing Lewis in to the pits before the safety car.
    When you see the Force India car of Adrian Sutil parked up with the front tyres smouldering, a reasonable amount of time passed between that moment and the safety car being deployed. Going on the assumption that a safety car was imminent, and that Lewis was running light on super soft tyres, why not bring him in straight away?
    As we all know, a team cannot add fuel to a car during a safety car period.
    I believe that this indecision from McLaren contributed towards the crash, as Lewis saw his race lead evaporate behind the safety car.
    If Lewis delibrately crashed into Raikkonen, we’ll never know? If he, i.e Lewis, had avoided the Ferrari, he would have crossed the white line and that would have been that. Remember what happened with Massa here last year.
    I would love to have been a fly on the wall inside the McLaren garage between Sutil’s retirement and the pit lane crash.
    I think a penalty is going to be given, and when looking over and over at the video of the crash, I think it is justified.
    Like in China last year, McLaren and Hamilton dithered, and it cost them big time!!

  8. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 22:11

    the krut

    I can understand McClaren’s decision because Sutil’s car was parked in a fairly safe place and some time passed before it became clear that his car was on fire and that marshals would have to go on to the track to extinguish it. By which time it was too late.

  9. McLaren has suggested the penalty is harsh given that Raikkonen was not punished for hitting Sutil in Monaco.

    I don’t agree. Raikkonen lost control of his car. If he hadn’t hit Sutil he’d have hit the barrier. Hamilton clearly did not leave himself enough time and space to stop his car in time (and the same goes for Rosberg).

  10. David Watkins
    8th June 2008, 22:15

    Completely agree Keith. If Raikkonen had been punished then they’d have had to punish Alonso and many others too. McClaren should just suck it up and work out how they can get Lewis some points from 13th/14th on the grid in France.

  11. The big mistake for Hamilton was although he was the first one going to the pit lane, Kimi and Kubica passed him on the pit stop.

    Even without the incident he’d lose two positions in the pit stop.

  12. Yes Keith, spot on. Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari exiting the tunnel at anywhere between 175/180mph. Doing so well to avoid clouting the barrier, Kimi just ran out of road and straight into the rear of Sutil.
    Hamilton, on the other hand, and Rosberg, were only doing 50mph in the pit lane, fully aware that a large section of the pack were pitting at the same time.
    Completely different accident altogether. Albeit, not so many years ago, didn’t Michael Schumacher run into Mark Webber in the pits?

  13. Can i ask someone to clarify the rules regarding cars being released from pit boxes?? My initial reaction moments before the crash happened was that Raikkonen should recieve a penalty for being released dangerously close to Kubica. He then proceeded down pit road alongside him which i believe to be an offence?? Someone on another forum said it was quite ironic as if he had slotted in behind Kubica he wouldn’e have been crashed into, fair point!! Due to Kimi’s actions which was dangerous and or illegal, it also helped in blocking Hamiltons escape route. I think Kimi or Ferrari need a talking to and a punishment. Can someone give me the exact rule definition as i have seen other penalised for it before???? Cheers.

  14. Really don’t see how they can penalise Nico when the incident was entirely Hamilton’s fault – if Hamilton had stopped in time, then Nico wouldn’t have had to take avoiding action imo.

  15. uhm if hamilton stopped his car, Nico would have hit him even harder (cause Lewis would be further back)

  16. Here’s one for you guys. Has anybody considered the idea that Lewis may have been driving above 50mph in the pits?
    Maybe this is a contributing factor into why Hamilton and Rosberg were both penalised. It would make sense, wouldn’t it?

  17. the limit:

    The video clearly shows the limiter light flashing on hamiltons car, it looks like he simply got caught napping when they stopped

  18. The thing in which i am baffled about is that why is it when Sutil crashed the safety car was brought out when it didn;t need to be and when fisi crashes they don’t bring it out when it needed to be? Do you know Keith?

  19. I.m sorry Sutil didn’t crash. My mistake!

  20. I think the incident was Hamilton’s fault, however i am furious to as why Rosberg’s been penalised. it was to late for him. There is one question
    why was Raikonen and Kubica two apiece at the end of the pits?

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