Hamilton and Maldonado come to blows on track

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Update: Maldonado handed penalty, Hamilton gets reprimand

Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado were involved in a controversial exchange during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Maldonado drove into the side of Hamilton’s car at the exit of La Source at the end of Q2.

Hamilton had passed Maldonado at the final corner of the previous lap, barging alongside the Williams which had been held up by cars in front of him.

After they crossed the line Maldonado drew alongside the Williams and swerved into the side of the McLaren, knocking part of the front wing off.

Speaking in the press conference Hamilton said: “I’ll have to look at it afterwards.

“But I think I was at the end of my Q2 lap. At the chicane as I was just finishing there were two Williams just sitting there going very slowly, I think they were just about to start another lap, but there was already a red light. So I had to try and get past, which I did. And I lost quite a lot of time there.

“Then as I was coming through the exit of turn one I saw Maldonado approaching quite quickly. He came past, he came around me, and I didn’t move anywhere but he happened to swipe across me.

“I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but I guess we’ll see shortly. I just said I’m going to sit here and wait for the stewards to call me up rather than go back to the brand centre.”

After repairs, Hamilton was able to participate in Q3 and take second on the grid: “The front wing was quite badly damaged, my sidepod, and I thought my front suspension was damaged. I think the front toeing is probably a little bit out.

“Fortunately the guys did a great job and put it back together.

“I just think once the flag is out and the red lights are on there’s no need to be racing. There should never, ever be an incident and unfortunately there was.”

The pair previously collided in the Monaco Grand Prix. Maldonado retired from the race due to the incident and Hamilton was given a post-race time penalty.

Update: This is what Maldonado had to say about the collision: “He slowed down a lot at the end of the session, so I tried to go past him. I then felt contact at the back of my car. I don?t really know what happened. It was a difficult moment.”

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221 comments on Hamilton and Maldonado come to blows on track

  1. Steve said on 27th August 2011, 15:21

    In a world with competent TV coverage we’d have seen Maldonado onboard and Lewis rear view of this incident. within minutes after it happened. Right now all the general public sees is a head on shot. Come on FOM. This coverage desperately needs to improve.

    With the little info we have from just that camera angle it’s real hard to determine whodunnit. Hamilton twitches right on corner exit, but that could just as well have been the back stepping out on the wet or even Maldonado giving him a nudge from behind. We need to see these ‘additional angles’ stewards always say they have but that the general public NEVER sees.

    • DavidS (@davids) said on 27th August 2011, 15:40

      The back didn’t step out.
      The track was dry, and he wasn’t on the throttle enough to lose traction.

      • Steve said on 27th August 2011, 16:09

        oh, have you seen other footage then, talked to the drivers. Strange you can catch all that from that one shot we got on the coverage.

        • DavidS (@davids) said on 27th August 2011, 16:24

          Being a fan of motorsport, you should know how a car behaves. The back simply did not step out.

          It was an in lap, no driver gets on the throttle hard on the in lap because of engine life. As for whether or not there was enough traction, Maldonado had plenty.

          I have a HD recording on the incident that I can play back and forth in slow motion if needs be, using that and some common sense, it’s clear that the back did not step out on Lewis’ car, and that it was a flick.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th August 2011, 18:04

            DavidS, you definitely do need to replay that footage because you saw something totally different to almost everybody else.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 27th August 2011, 16:15

      In a world with competent TV coverage we’d have seen Maldonado onboard and Lewis rear view of this incident. within minutes after it happened. Right now all the general public sees is a head on shot. Come on FOM. This coverage desperately needs to improve.

      I strongly agree with this post.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 16:25

        Me too. In football, the tv has a tendency to quickly prove referees were misguided if they judged a ball to be on the wrong side of a line, while referees are not even allowed to use that same footage. Here the stewards have all the footage and then some, but we don’t see it before the race edit or end of season DVD, if we are lucky.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th August 2011, 21:48

        I’m starting to notice this more and more.

  2. W-K (@w-k) said on 27th August 2011, 15:28

    Joe Saward has an interesting Maldano fact.

    A little history

    August 27, 2011 by joesaward

    Pastor Maldonado’s move on Lewis Hamilton in qualifying at Spa was not the first time that the Veneuzuelan has got into trouble in the course of his career, notably at Monaco in 2005 when he was given a four-race ban from the Renault World Series after ignoring yellow warning flags and hitting and seriously injuring a track marshal.

    • dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 16:23

      there are also dirty driving facts about hamilton – including today in quali, there was a yellow flag in sector one and hamilton set the fastest time of sector one while the yellow flag was out.

  3. “We need to see these ‘additional angles’ stewards always say they have but that the general public NEVER sees.”

    Well, it’s the stewards that ultimately make the final decision, thankfully.

  4. DavidS (@davids) said on 27th August 2011, 15:35

    Listen to his comments in the press conference.
    As a helpful hint, I’ll transcribe them for you.

    Uhh, pfff, I’ll have to look at it afterwards, but I think I was on the end of my ugh, my Q2 lap, and uhh, I got to the Chicane as I was just finishing, and there were ugh, two Williams, not ugh, going very slow. I think they were preparing to start for another lap, but it was already red light. And, so I had to get past, which I did, and then {coughs} ugh, I lost quite a lot of time there…

    • Aventador said on 27th August 2011, 15:42

      I’m sorry I don’t understand your motive in stating his response verbatim, kind explanation?

      • DavidS (@davids) said on 27th August 2011, 15:55

        The person I was replying to asked me “why would lewis have any motive for swerving”

        I posted that quote with the important bit in bold to show that Hamilton may have felt that Maldonado held him up at the chicane.

        I posted it verbatim because I was trying to be funny. The post I was replying to got deleted because it called me a couple of choice words, and the post became an orphan.

        I posted a follow up post saying that it was OK to delete it (because it was completely out of context), but that post appears to have been deleted…lol

        • Aventador said on 27th August 2011, 16:09

          Ah, understood.

          Still, motive or not, any sort of overtaking attempt post-flag resulting in a collision should in my opinion be the responsibility of the overtaker. Hamilton had no need to be aware of anything, what was Maldonado’s hurry, did he have to catch a movie? And Lewis was never going to brake, there ain’t no son of a gun out there who can scare Lewis.

          • DavidS (@davids) said on 27th August 2011, 16:36

            While I agree on the principle that the overtaking driver is responsible for the clean execution of the overtake, I believe that only applies in race situations.

            In race situations, you can’t expect a driver who is being overtaken to take drastic action to avoid an incident, as that would unfairly cost them time.

            However, they weren’t racing, no-one was losing any time or position. In these situations, it is the responsibility of BOTH drivers to avoid a collision.

            They are meant to be setting an example to all drivers. That is the part that most people on here are ignoring. What kind of example would it be if drivers are excused completely from punishment for an incident where the other guy was mostly to blame? The message that would send out is that people are entitled to not take avoiding action if the other guy is doing something dangerous.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th August 2011, 18:08

      This response is about what happened before the finish line, the incident under discussion happened after the finish line.

  5. juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 27th August 2011, 15:43

    Keith, I think you’ll find that Hamilton drove into the side of Maldonado’s car.

  6. philius said on 27th August 2011, 15:46

    In the UK, you get the rear/back far camera angles
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9573626.stm

    From the rear, Maldonado has a very obvious straight line general collision course..
    From the front, it looks completely different, the front view looks 50/50, the rear view looks 90/10 blamewise..

  7. F1Fanatic.co.UK(for the win) is, as always when discussing Brits, fair and balanced – on par with Fox News. Where’s Maldonado’s side of the story in this “article”?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th August 2011, 15:51

      I haven’t heard a quote from Maldonado yet so I can’t report one.

      I don’t know why you’re getting so worked up about a domain suffix. It means nothing.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th August 2011, 16:47

        BBC Qualifying as it happened
        1445: And FINALLY here is Pastor Maldonado’s take on his incident with Hamilton: “It was a difficult moment, there was no reason from my side to have contact and from the side of Lewis. It wasn’t rainy conditions and we need to understand what happened. There was no need for contact after the chequered flag.” When asked if he agreed with Hamilton’s claim he had deliberately moved into his McLaren, Maldonado responded: “No, no, I don’t.

        He seems a bit evasive to me, not willing to say he stayed clear, but indicating he didn’t intend to hit HAM. Might have left too little distance?

    • apeman (@apeman) said on 27th August 2011, 16:31

      The point is it’s as clear as day who caused the incident i.e. Maldonado. FYI I’m not British.
      Your suggestion of bias is delusional.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th August 2011, 18:11

      Miko, have you read what DavidS is saying over and over again.

    • Noone is discussing brits we are discussing racing and Maldano be he british venezuelan or dutch was wrong to drive into hamilto whatever happened before to drive into another driver on purpose is wrong that it hwatever your race religion creed country or colour!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Rex.T.Zephron said on 27th August 2011, 15:54

    Does anyone agree that we should be provided with full transcripts of what happens in the Stewards meetings after races?

  9. The Edge (@the-edge) said on 27th August 2011, 16:05

    I don’t get it…why should lewis have applied the breaks?

  10. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 27th August 2011, 16:07

    Maldanado is a disgrace. He was slow in the chicane and held Hamilton up. Hamilton was right to overtake. Maldanado shud get a race ban

    • dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 16:26

      why? wasnt he on a qualifying lap too?

      • Aventador said on 27th August 2011, 16:44

        @Bus Stop Chicane, Only Hamilton was on a hotlap, not Maldonado. Of course Hamilton was having none of Maldonado holding him up, so he executed an overtake. This was during the session, where cars are allowed to fight for position.
        @La Source – Eau Rouge, The session was over. Both were on in laps.

  11. Bbcf1 forever said on 27th August 2011, 16:09

    Race ban for both of them, that will send the message to all the other drivers to keep their attitudes under control.

  12. cooker said on 27th August 2011, 16:14

    hmm, this is interesting, i think its maldonados fault at the end of the day, but we have no choice but to leave the FIA to make this decision, baring in mind that they have been quite anti-hamilton for his mistakes, it will be interesting to see what will happen

  13. dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 16:19

    This is how i saw the incidents.
    1. Hamilton obstructs Maldonado in the final turn of maldonados qualifying lap (maldonado had to miss the apex and lost time on his lap).a bit of wheel contact is made as Maldonado assumes he can take the turn and not be passed in an apex of a qualifying lap.
    2. Hamilton waves his hand in the air in anger (later we find out he thinks maldonado cost him time).
    3. After the battle, at the exit of turn one – Hamilton brake tests Maldonado, then maldonado goes to pass him and Hamilton jinks at him.
    4. Maldonado is at full boil now angry with hamilton and jinks back towards him, i dont believe intending to hit him, but to cut infront of him in an angry way – but he makes contact.

    later being interviewed Hamilton says he felt he lost time in the final turn because of maldonado- but to me (and i think in maldonados mind, maldonado was entitled to a clean run in his qualifying lap), and wasnt being lapped.

    hamilton also sounded sheepish and defensive of the incident saying maldonado came really fast up to him and around him and that he “didnt move”.

    • dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 16:32

      by the way im not entirely sure if maldonado was on a flyer,
      but now maldonado has said he didnt do it on purpose, maybe after brake testing and jinking at maldonado (which is what i saw), hamilton sped up as maldonado was passing him causing the crash?
      i think both drivers were in the wrong but, both got hot headed in the moment.

    • Rex.T.Zephron said on 27th August 2011, 16:38

      I appreciate where you are coming from but look at the replay of the chicane – Hamilton has the biggest gap ever to fit into on the apex and obviously takes it as he wants the fastest time! He did not shove Maldonado out of the way before the apex, only on the apex when Maldonado had already gone wide and left him the massive gap…

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th August 2011, 18:26

      Dfector, what I saw on SpeedTv replay after the finish line, from behind LH, was LH slowly turning right and then swerving left as Maldonados car comes into the picture behind and to the right of Hamilton, Hamiltons sharp yank on the wheel has destabilised the car and he has to correct slightly to the right to continue in a straight line, at the same time Maldonado swerves left into Hamilton, if you only saw the second of impact you might think that Hamiltons correction was him turning into Maldonado but that is not what happened if you see the full coverage of the incident.

  14. apeman (@apeman) said on 27th August 2011, 16:25

    There’s a lot of shameless Hamilton bashing going on here, and I’m not exactly a fan of him. He clearly was the victim in the this case, as Maldonado had absolutely no reason to be so close to him and pushing him off the track. It was an in lap remember, and he had loads of empty track available.
    I think the people saying Hamilton should share the blame need to get their eyes checked.

  15. Maldonado would have been already angry before Hamilton passed him at the chicane, his lap was ruined by Barichello going off infront of him, Hamilton had every sporting and moral right to pass Maldonado as he was on a flying lap himself. Maldonado would been angered further by being passed. After that on the following lap, the session is over, they are both on in-laps and Maldonado had no buisness being near the outside of the track where Lewis was.

    He needs punishing, he has a history of being too hot-headed

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