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.”

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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221 comments on Hamilton and Maldonado come to blows on track

  1. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 27th August 2011, 16:33

    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!

  2. DaveW said on 27th August 2011, 16:34

    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

  3. mikeycool said on 27th August 2011, 16:37

    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?

  4. xpres1000 (@xpres1000) said on 27th August 2011, 16:38

    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.

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

  6. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 27th August 2011, 16:51

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

  7. Peter said on 27th August 2011, 16:56

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

  8. dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 16:59

    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:
    http://darcyf1.com/mattzel/MT89_2011_Formula1_SpaFrancorchamps_QLF_Hamilton_vs_Maldonado.mkv

    • 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.

    • dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 17:05

      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

    • dfektor said on 27th August 2011, 17:07

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

  9. Martin said on 27th August 2011, 17:01

    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.

  10. xpres1000 (@xpres1000) said on 27th August 2011, 17:17

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

  11. Sinnr said on 27th August 2011, 17:27

    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.

  12. xpres1000 (@xpres1000) said on 27th August 2011, 17:32

    Totally agree Snnr!!

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

    As good as justice gets!

  14. kbdavies said on 27th August 2011, 20:18

    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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