Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

Hamilton: Button “just kept moving across” in crash

2011 Canadian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

Lewis Hamilton retired from the Canadian Grand Prix after colliding with his team mate.

Hamilton was squeezed into the pit wall as he tried to pass Jenson Button.

Hamilton said: “It was tricky conditions, I was doing the best I could to keep the car on-track.

“I had pretty good pace and plus I fell back behind Jenson and he made a mistake into the last corner.

“So I got the run on him and I was on, I guess, the outside. I haven’t seen the footage but I felt I was halfway up the outside of him and he just kept moving across, whether or not he saw me or not, and I was in the wall”.

He added he was unhappy at being told to retire with damage when he felt he could have continued.

Hamilton said: “It was only the tyre that was busted.

“I tried to drive it back to the garage and the team told me to retire. I thought the suspension was gone, that’s what they said, and it turned out it wasn’t”.

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale defended his drivers, saying: “I think that final move you can see on Jenson’s car the contact that they make and it makes it look worse than it is.

“Putting Monaco to one side, Lewis has driven really well here this weekend. I think it’s extremely difficult conditions out there. In the dry it’s a difficult circuit, we’ve seen good people stick it in the wall here”.

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145 comments on “Hamilton: Button “just kept moving across” in crash”

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  1. I think it was mostly Button’s fault, but I don’t think it deserves a penalty for it. Very, very tough call. Either way, I am still in shock. :(

    1. Button was angry after the crash but he forced Hamilton on the grass. Maybe he was expecting Lewis to pass on the right?

      1. Button didnt expect Lewis to try force him off the racing line.

      2. Button was half way across the track when Hamilton tried to go through on the left. Anyone could have clearly seen that there was no space to pass on that side

        1. There was plenty of space, but Button just couldn’t see him. He apologized to Lewis afterwards. I think the case is closed.

          1. yup, exactly… nice to see the respect between them

          2. poor lewis. mclaren had done a wet setup and if he hadnt retired, probably wouldve been a mclaren 1-2. Sad.

    2. Agree, Button more at fault, but can’t be blamed too much. Of course he doesn’t deserve a penalty, but neither did Di Resta. Stewards are a complete joke, and show no consistency.

      1. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why Di Resta received a penalty for making a move on Heidfeld in to the final chicane? There is contact between them but Di Resta does not gain an advantage and he does not cause damage to his competitor. We saw collisions like this many, many times during the race (Sutil-Rosberg, Heidfeld-Koboyashi, etc etc). So why punish Di Resta alone?

        Far worse incidents where driver’s punted their competitors in to a spin (or in to the wall) go unpunished!

        Indeed, it seems that the stewards are far too happy to penalise mid-field Rookie’s. They certainly don’t take half as long to deliberate these incidents as they do with the “big boys”.

        Once again infuriated with the stewards. :(

        1. I like your point – I’m convinced the stewards are punishing drivers when they can as opposed to when they should.

      2. yep, Button get no penalty for either of the accidents but Alonso gets one for destroying his front wing at Sepang? Among other things. These stewards are messed up. For sure IMO mistakes should very rarely be punished, but consistency is what’s needed. You can’t have one escaping.

    3. Hamilton knew he was driving into a wedge (Martin Brundel’s words). It can’t always be some other guy’s fault… who said that?

      1. ya he couldve simply lifted off the throttle instead of tryin to squeeze past. I think once he hit the grass he lost traction.

  2. DC: “He didn’t take an unusual line”

    But he must have seen Hamilton, surely?

    1. Ever sat in a racing car and seen what you can actually see in the mirrors? It’s very little at the best of times and must be virtually zero in the wet.

      1. but you can tell by listen to the other engine and you can tell there is another car next to you .

        1. I’m only assuming that it is impossible to hear car next to you. Drivers have ear plugs and barely hear they own engine sound i don’t think anyone can tell anything from engine sound in F1.

          1. According to drivers, you can hear another car

          2. The car infront not behind, for sure only your own engine behind

          3. You can quite clearly see from the replay that Button looks over immediately before moving across. Rain or no rain, he would have seen Hamilton.

          4. JP, are you actually suggesting Button hit him on purpose?

            It was a mistake, a big one to take out your own team mate too, but that’s it.

            I think after Monaco, Lewis should take it easy to be honest. He hasn’t exactly been on best behavior himself!

        2. @JP

          I initially thought the same, however on replays you can see that when he looks in the mirror it is a fraction of a second before hamilton pulls out from behind him. It was clearly just one of those things, If hamilton had pulled the move fractionally earlier Button would have seen him, if a fraction later then Hamilton would have had time to back off. Unfortunately for Hamilton it happend too close to the barrier otherwise he may have simply sustained a broken wing.

          It does put in to question though why the FIA allow such tiny mirrors as they are practically useless and there as a token gesture. With all the other safety rules you would have thought that they would like drivers to be actually able to see what is behind them….

    2. Button actually did take an unusual line.

      Button pulled the same move on Webber later in the race and there was plenty room on that side.

  3. Button’s fault, racing incident, don’t really care at the moment to be honest!

    1. Same here.

  4. Racing incident but if you must blame someone, blame Button.

    I want to hear what Button has to say about it after the race. If it starts again.

  5. As Brundle pointed out, Button was looking in his mirrors on the side Lewis was trying to pass. Case closed I think.

    1. The verdict is in:
      “the Stewards have concluded
      that it is reasonable to believe that Button was not aware of Hamilton’s position to his left.”

      Racing incident.

  6. It was Buttons fault but wasnt deliberate, its not his style to take someone out on purpose let alone your team mate. No action should be taken in my opinion

  7. It was buttons fault bloody drove into him.

    1. :D fanboi

  8. button was looking left when hamilton was directly behind and then looked ahead

    1. Spot on bassbar, I’m surprised the other posters here haven’t also seen that. I expect they are all Hamilton fans though.

      1. Just because button didnt see Lewis doesnt mean that Button isnt to blame. Nowt to do whether i support Lewis or not. Cheap argument.

      2. Yeah true JB looked left but LH was directly behind him and he took the racing line. I don’t think it was JB’s fault LH went for an ever decreasing gap.

      3. i’m a big fan of hamilton’s but it seems pretty clear from the head-on replay what happened. lewis is far too impatient this season and needs to relax a bit

        1. Gotta agree. Maybe it was Jenson’s fault for closing the door , but then again what was Lewis trying to do by getting his car is the most impossible of gaps?

          1. If you’re coming from behind and doing banzi moves, diving into spaces that aren’t there, it’s your fault if you come a cropper! Hammy will have to learn!

    2. Mouse_Nightshirt
      12th June 2011, 22:31

      From what I see from the replays after the race.

      1. Jenson gets bad drive off the final chicane and Lewis closes right behind.
      2. Jenson checks his mirrors to see where Lewis is – Lewis is directly behind at this point.
      3. Jenson takes the normal racing line (which is steadily getting closer to the pitwall) as he believes Lewis to be behind him.
      4. Lewis moves up the inside.
      5. Collision.

      Conclusion? Racing incident.

      1. The thing is though, the racing line isn’t THAT close to the wall.

        I’m guessing Button saw Hamilton and tried to close the door just as Hamilton put his front in.

        1. I agree, the normal racing line is far from the wall, or at least if he would have take the racing line, Hamilton could have put his car next to him without hiting the wall.
          I’m not saying Button did it on purpose, just that he tried to close the door a tad to late, that’s all

  9. How can it be Button’s fault. He was in front and didn’t change his line. I know Lewis is McLaren’s bright-eyed boy but if he wants his team mate to dive out the way for him he should drive for Ferrari.

    1. It’s Button’s fault because he turned into Ham, Ham was on the very edge of the track driving straight, Button steered into him.

      You’re not meant to ram cars passing you on a straight, hence Button’s fault.

      From footage, Button didn’t see him.
      Looks like Button checked his mirror while Ham was in the tow and then didn’t see Ham move onto the far side and start overtaking.

      Will go down as a racing incident with the stewards but if anyone will be getting a reprimand over that one it’s Button.

      1. Button didn’t steer into him. If you see it closely, Button chose a line and was just going straight down there, while Hamilton tried to squeeze past. I could be completely wrong though, but I’m pretty sure it will just go down as a racing incident.

      2. GQsm it was not Button’s fault he was taking the racing line. No way yo ucan expect a driver to do any of the following.

        A. Deviate from the racing line when a car is almost totally behind them.

        B. See a car behind them clearly in conditions that wet.

        C. Deviate from their normal racing line when they have track position (i.e are clearly ahead).

        For this reason it was Hamilton’s fault as it was his fault when he smashed into Massa at the Hairpin at Monaco.

        Hamilton is a great driver and I would love to see him win another WC but in my opinion he doesn’t deserve to until he tones down his aggression to the controlled form.

        As DaGoaty said, if Lewis wants his team mate to move out of his way he should go drive for Ferrari.

        1. Button HAS in the past driven out of the way (or reduced speed, or saved fuel, call it what you like) for his team mate, while driving for McLaren. Funny, how selective memory works.

          1. I was at the track in Montreal, and it was indeed disappointing to see Lewis retire but it’s the aggression for the 9 laps or so, that was very exciting to watch at the hairpin before the DRS straights. I thought after, that Button was actually trying to make space on the other side for Lewis to pass, but didn’t see nor expect a pass on that side.

    2. Hamilton had his front wheel alongside Button and contact came from Button moving across. It doesn’t matter if the preferred link – which Schumacher took – involves veering to the left, if a car’s already there and he’s not totally in front then he has no right to move over.

    3. ‘If you see a gap and don’t go for it, you are no longer a racing driver,’ said Ayrton Senna

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-2002861/Martin-Samuel-Jenson-Button-Lewis-Hamilton-team-mates.html#ixzz1P8WUEqpp

      1. yeah i wish Senna was alive to witness the criticism Hamilton has been getting over the past couple of weeks. I’m pretty sure he would defend him to the hilt.

  10. Clearly Hamilton’s fault. Doesn’t look like Button was looking when Hamilton actually moved out, and even if he was I doubt he could see. And even if he COULD see Lewis, why should he move off the racing line? Lewis has to drive AROUND the cars ahead, not THROUGH them. As with all car activities, the following driver is ALWAYS at fault.

    1. How did you feel about Schumacher and Barrichello at Hungary then?

      1. +1

        The same thoughts crossed my mind when i saw the first replay.

        1. Schumacher deviated from the racing line and made more than one move. Jenson stayed on the racing line and did not change trajectory. Completely different

          1. go back and look at the hungary replay and then comment. he moved only once and stuck to the line.

      2. Schumacher knew that Barrichello was trying to pass on that side and was still squeezing him whilst he was well up along side him. Button checked his mirrors, didn’t see Hamilton and moved onto line. Hamilton got impatient and tried to put it into too smaller gap too early in the maneouver.

      3. Yeah, but Schumacher knew Rubens was there didn’t he? -.-

        1. IIRC Schumacher claimed that he hadn’t seen Barrichello.

    2. As with all car activities, the following driver is ALWAYS at fault.

      Thats just simply not true.

    3. “As with all car activities, the following driver is ALWAYS at fault.”

      This line shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    4. It’s never quite that simple. If you close the door on the car coming from behind, then whose fault is that?

      In this situation, I can only imagine Button didn’t see Hamilton (due to the conditions) and so continued to move across and Hamilton ran out of room – which I reckon makes it a racing incident.

    5. If you watch the replays, you’ll see Button’s head clearly turn left, so he was looking in his mirrors. Even if Button moved across the road, he certainly didn’t need to make contact.

      As with all car activities, the following driver is ALWAYS at fault.

      So, you blame Hill for Adelaide?

    6. That is on the roads mate. And even there its not completely true.

      Button moved over, probalby didn’t see much of anything in those mirrors, but he would have known Lewis to be somewhere out there.

    7. I do get that, but this isn’t Scalextric. If you are going along the racing line and there is something there, you don’t just keep moving onto it.

      Whether Button realised something was there is another matter, and Hamilton should have realised that he was possibly not noticed, so its just a racing incident.

    8. Excuse you, Button did the exact same thing Lewis did, to Alonso later. He put his car on the racing line and Alonso had to get out of the way, to let him go, unfortunately, wasn’t enough. Why when it’s about Lewis, it’s ok to smash into him and it’s Lewis’s fault, but when other drivers do it, it was the other guy’s fault for not giving him space?
      How come everytime somebody catches Hamilton sleeping and gets on the inside of him, he manages to give space, but nobody but Schumacher is able to give Lewis space? How come only the two of them are able to see in the mirrors and the rest drive like they ******* own the road?

  11. So that’s the fourth time in two races that Hamilton deliberately drives into another driver. The FIA has to revoke Hamilton’s license if it wants to show that it doesn’t condone this sort of dangerous behaviour.

  12. Well even if Red Bull lose their dominant pace, Lewis will have it hard to win this championship with such luck.
    Except from a good car, the stars have to be a little with you when you go for a championship contention and they sure seem to favor Vettel until now.

    I’m disappointed because really Hamilton seems like the only possible guy to bring the fight to Vettel and with such horrible luck the championship will finish too fast.

    1. Horrible Luck? The only possible guy to fight Vettel? Really? He only does these things to himself. It must kill McLaren to see their golden boy constantly throw it away and have old man Button beating him regularly.

      1. “Beating him regularly”? As I recall, Lewis Hamilton has, by all standards, dominated Button as a teammate, this year as well as last year. Button is a very good driver, but he gets far too good of a reputation from you fawning Brits. He’s good looking, tall, charming, and is seemingly a very cool guy. But we all just need to wake up and look at the stats. Lewis beat Jenson 15-4 in qualifying last year, mostly by margins of 3 tenths, and has been doing the same this year (if not for the monaco fiasco, would be 6-1 in qualy this year).

      2. Agree. What is becoming increasingly clear this season is that there is ONE McLaren driver with a problem, and he’s the one with a beard.

  13. Racing incident.

    Hamilton could have chosen to go the other side, i.e. not in the direction Button was clearly moving towards. Not an easy call for him at that point, though, as the racing line was about to carry Button across the other way.

    Equally, Button should have been aware that, having made an error at the last corner, Hamilton would have been trying to pass him. A degree of circumspection wouldn’t have hurt – especially in the knowledge it was his team mate behind him.

    1. Glad that you have a balanced perspective Keith. I think Button was quite clear in moving across to the left once he saw Hamilton was still behind him, I believe that’s why he looked in his mirrors (to check he could still move across).

      Having realised Button was moving across Hamilton should have tried to go right side rather than left, or if he had already tried to go to the wrong side he should have backed out.

      Basically it would have been easy for Hamilton to have backed out of the move and try at a future corner. He shouldn’t expect a driver to be able to see him in these conditions and deviate from their usual racing line when he was still so far behind.

    2. Yeah, certainly not a need for any penalties. They are getting quit a bit too strict already. No good punishing this kind of moves as well.

    3. I think it was a little bad timing and bad luck the reason the incident happened. Button looked to the mirror and stopped just as Hamilton started making his move.
      Hamilton had enough space when he started the move but by the time he started overtaking the space almost dissapeared. You can say why he didn’t choose the other side but when he initially started the space was actually in the side he tried to go

    4. I mostly agree with you, except for LH pointed the inner line just after chicane, as he saw JB error. The only way he had to avoid the incident was to easy the throttle.

      Button: where does he think his mate was on that straight? Drivers have to know that if they can’t see someone chasing them, most probably they are on their blind spot. It’s basic racing. And an avoidable error even for a kart racer.

      Also can’t think Button did it intentionally. Too dangerous manouver.

      1. If he hadn’t been watching in his mirrors to see where Hamilton went, it’s possible he didn’t know WHICH blind spot Hamilton was in. He probably did though.

  14. It just looks like a racing indecent to me. Unfortunate for Lewis as it didn’t look like Jenson was attempting to push him into the wall. Just one of those things I guess.

    Which is a shame as Lewis looked like he was going to give this race a good old go.

    1. *Incident


    2. Yes, ‘RACING’ is what we turn out TVs on to see. All this rubbish about ‘causing an avoidable accident’ needs to be reviewed – ALL accidents are avoidable if you don’t try to overtake or if you move over like a coward every time someone comes alongside you. Reckless driving should be penalised – the rest should be encouraged.

      1. +1,


        1. A-men to that statement

      2. But isn’t it commonly accepted that Schumacher pushing Rubens into the wall was NOT fair play?

        Or would you prefer an anything goes situation?

        1. Gotta agree with you… not all contact are just racing incidents. I think the stewards were right in not investigating the Lewis and Jenson incident, as it was a racing incident, but Schumi and Bari was not fair play.

      3. What I hate most about these penalties is that it rewards drivers for turning in when they are being overtaken.

        Hamilton makes more room for Schumacher in the hairpin to prevent a colission. Had he turned in, Schumacher would have gotten the penalty.

        That’s just wrong. It’s like saying that driving through a red light is OK as long as you don’t cause an accident.

        Either overtaking (outside of DRS zones) is illegal or knock it off with these penalties. At least when cars are next to each other in the braking zone.

        I can understand that crashes like Sutil caused last year in Korea and Barrichello this year in Australia should be penalised. When they are that far back and still attempt an overtake they have to understand that a crash can be the only result.

        On the other hand, Kobayashi made a few of those stick …

  15. The head on replay clearly shows Button looking in his Left mirror then pulling hard to the left as Lewis made his move. Button clearly put Hamilton into the wall!

  16. Ahhh well…, racing incidents do occur. There won’t be a big war that ensues. They will get past it and continue good relations. I know that thought bothers the many negative visitors of this and many other sites, but don’t hold Your breath for a meltdown.

  17. Button was way off the normal racing line and in that weather you could have been in a London bus and he wouldn’t see it behind him so he has to at fault

  18. Personally I think Hamilton is at fault. If you watch the replay Button looks in his mirrors see Hamilton directly behind, Button looks back ahead then Hamilton pulls out. Button is on the racing line, the same line that Schumacher in front of him took and Hamilton goes for a closing gap that was no longer there when he arrived.

  19. Two things crossed my mind the instant I saw tge accident followed by Buttons outcry “wgat on earth is he(lewis) doing?”
    1. Buttons knee-jerk outcry is to me that of guilt!
    2. This – Lewis’s first half F1 2011 season – is shaping up much like Vettel’s last one the championship winning season 2010 which also was marred by calamity of his own making in the first half only for Vettel to come through and beat the odds.

    So, I’m hoping Lewis can see the silver lining in all this.

  20. The fact that Button said “What is he doing”, leads me to believe that he saw Lewis and knew he was there. The accident could have been avoided by Button, Button chose not to.

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