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.”

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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221 comments on “Hamilton and Maldonado come to blows on track”

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  1. either of, or both should be repremanded but they should not remove the passion and needle within F1. we should not forget the drivers are just people too and some days things get on your nerves and tempers fray. If it had turned into an accident and someone was hurt then a ban would be acceptable but it didnt, right or wrong a driver reacted to another drivers tactic to show his frustration on camera, good TV or should we go back to the schumacher procession races of the past, or for the new drivers to shake up the status quo

  2. Hamilton squeezed Maldonado causing Mal to slow down a lot. This would have annoyed him and such is the nature of racing drivers they never want to be shown up on track due to their huge egos. Maldonado probably intended to squeeze Hamilton back with the intention of making Hamilton yield slightly at best. Understanding the egotistical nature of a racing driver you should also understand that Hamilton in this instance knew what was about to happen and tried initially to put Maldonado off before he pulled out from behind him (as is evident when Hamilton twitched to the right the first time as this was the only way Maldonado could overtake) once Maldonado was alongside and overtaking Hamilton there would have been no contact (drivers would never aim to make contact there as damaging the car is the biggest embarrassment for a racing driver) Hamilton decided to try and squeeze Maldonado back as can clearly be seen by hamiltons very sharp twitch toward maldonado whom he knew was beside him. On boards show Hamilton look in his mirrors and twitch to the right twice. They should both have kept it in their trousers and carried on like nothing happened but both wanted to prove who was the bigger and better man by squeezing eachother on track.
    What people need to understand about Hamilton is although he may seem mature now he is still that arrogant and immature young man he was a couple of seasons ago only now he understands the importance of playing the political game in formula 1 by making sure the media are on your side. He still thinks and instinctively acts the same way but is learning to mask his behaviour through what I can only assume is vast amounts of pr work.

  3. Looking at the video from the front of the car it seems like it was Hamilton who moved right then Pastor did,but don’t know why Pastor was carrying so much speed for.I see nothing wrong in Hamilton passing him in the Bus Stop chicane as Williams was slow & he need to get a good lap in order to survive that was wheel banging but fair in racing.

  4. Keith, I found onboard footage from Hamilton’s car of the incident


    That link will probably get taken down by FOM soon though. I have to say Maldonado’s actions definitely seem dangerous here.

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