Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Hamilton and Maldonado come to blows on track

2011 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. Bbcf1 forever
    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.

    1. Not sure why Hamilton should get a race ban? For once, he did nothing wrong.

  2. 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

  3. 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”.

    1. 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.

    2. Rex.T.Zephron
      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…

        1. Unfortunately, that only helps those with access to UK IP address.

    3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. nice to see a non biased view about hamilton

  5. 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

  6. I’m just looking forward to the fact that Williams have every excuse to drop Maldonado as a driver now. They might be able to get someone who is not only sporting but who can do a good job of driving their car!

    1. If they drop Maldanado, they can also kiss goodbye a whole heap of sponsorship.

      1. whys that?

  7. That was some WWE/ NASCAR-level nonsense. Hamilton basically did what Maldonado baited him to do. Not mature. I was 25 once too and I know it’s hard to control the temper when you are just a few years from the school yard and some idiot is trying to bully you. but you have to do it. They both need a talking to and probably both need a penalty. You cant let a feud just take care of itself. Sorry to say it as a mclaren fan but you can’t tolerate this garbage in f1. This is not

    1. Scratch ‘this is not.’ Not good at typing on the phone.

  8. I think its definately Maldonados fault. Lewis was just keeping to the driving line and curve of the track whilst Pastor was clearly keeping to a straight trajectory edging to the left of the track after the collision and across the driving line where lewis was. Thats pretty clear in the video.

    Plus, look at the amount of space on the right available, How does Maldonado explain sticking so close to lewis?

  9. Well well, the Hamilton haters are out in force again. Any opportunity to have go at the lad. How anyone can say he is to blame for this incident is just nonsense, and is due to the fact that some people just don’t like him.

    I love his assertive driving style, and pleased he muscled his way past Maldonado to get second on the grid. Maldonado took it as a personal slight and retaliated, when he should have realised that Lewis was trying to get pole or as close to pole as possible. Maldonado should receive a 10 place grid drop for unsporting behaviour.

  10. Well, considering that this is supposed to be an open and shut case, they are certainly taking their time with it!

    1. agreed! i want to know what the FIA does about this

      1. It’s the FIA that are making us wait. They need to look and listen to all of the evidence. Evidence that we haven’t seen or heard.

  11. If these two come even close to eachother in the race I wonder what will happen.

    1. If, somehow, Maldanado is anywhere near Hamilton in the race, then something has gone very wrong for Hamilton.

      1. Unless Hamilton is lapping him…

        1. There is that. But somehow, I don’t think that Maldanado will even be on the track.

  12. look at the grid box’s on the track, hami turns into Maldanado end!

  13. guys download this video, look at the replay, hamilton jinks once (not to take the dry line, but to jink at maldonado), then jinks again, the second jink causing the crash:

    1. No, the circuit bends right, after the ‘jink’ Hamilton follows the circuit around, while Maldonado keeps straight (effectivly going left) squeezing Hamilton. Again… they were both on in-laps, session was over, Maldonado didnt need to be anywhere near Lewis. Try as you might, blaming Hamilton for that contact is utterly stupid.

    2. maybe the second jink wasnt a jink, looks to be following the line of the other drivers, but certainly doesnt look like maldonado didnt hit him on purpose there

      1. Your double negative is correct, it certainly does not look like Maldonado did not hit him on purpose, it looks exactly like Maldonado did hit him on purpose.

    1. what is the point of a reprimand? isnt it hamiltons 3rd reprimand this year? how many reprimands are you allowed?

  14. The fact that Hamilton received a reprimand shows he’s clearly just as much to blame as Pastor. Pastor received the harsher penalty for causing the damage i suspect as his actions were harsher than Hamilton’s. But both are officially to blame.

    1. Desperate for some justification are we?

  15. It doesn’t surprise me that Lewis got a reprimand, I don’t think it would be a surprise to him either!

  16. I am amazed at some of the comments on here. It’s clear that those that dislike Lewis will say anything against him, no matter what. I can’t wait to see how the Stewards deal with this situation. If going by past results, I expect nothing to come of this. On the other hand, had the shoe been on the other foot, Lewis would’ve been drawn, quartered and executed already.

  17. Totally agree Snnr!!

  18. Maldonado just got a five place penalty while Hamilton got reprimanded.

    As good as justice gets!

  19. To all those who say Lewis jinked right twice to intimidate Maldonado, here is a quote from Lewis; which would seem obvious from anyone who saw the incident –
    “I went a little bit right and I saw he’d moved out so I went back and then he was in a blind spot. I thought he was coming past and then he ended up coming into me.”

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