Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Hamilton accepts blame for Kobayashi crash

2011 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton has changed his view on his collision with Kamui Kobayashi and now says the accident was his fault.

Hamilton posted on his Twitter account:

“After watching the replay, I realise it was my fault today 100%. I didn’t give Kobayashi enough room though I thought in was past.

“Apologies to Kamui and to my team. The team deserves better from me.”

Kobayashi said: “After he overtook me it was not my intention to get my position back, so I stayed on my line and didn?t expect him to move over.”

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133 comments on “Hamilton accepts blame for Kobayashi crash”

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  1. just trying to escape a post race penalty, it wasn’t 100% his fault

    1. The stewards said during the race no action was being taken.

      1. Well done to Lewis for taking responsibility. It was definitely his fault, and it was rather amusing seeing Martin Whitmarsh blindly trying to defend his driver.

        Lewis obviously just didn’t see Kobayashi in his mirrors. However, there is an interesting, and possibly explanatory aspect to this which I don’t think any of the commentators picked up: the unexpected straight line speed of the Sauber. Hamilton had already made his pass early on the straight, but even with DRS deployed was strangely unable to pull clear of the Sauber. Obviously not what he expected!

        1. I disagreed with Martin Witmarsh, but it was nice to hear him have an impassioned stance on something instead of the PR-speak you get so often from the Macca team.

          1. But in my opinion blindly ignoring the fairly obvious truth in defence of his driver who was in the wrong was a kind of PR speak, the king they often use to refuse accepting blame. And it was fairly infuriating to her Jordan speak sense for once but not be able to show Whitmarsh that you can’t turn in on another driver.

        2. No wonder he didn’t see him in his mirros, he was looking in the righthand mirror while KOB was on his left :)

        3. I believe Kobayashi said they were running much less downforce, which allowed a faster speed on the straights.

        4. Agreed, I love how Hamilton said, “the team deserves better from me.” That shows a driver taking on responsibility, and I think previews a more mature Hamilton.

          1. Unfortunately that’s all Lewis has been doing lately – taking responsability for his mistakes. It’s time he gave his team what it deserves – consistently good results. Maybe Withmarsh should give him some lessons on “championship management” because if he continues like this the 2008 title will be his first and last one.

      2. To me, it looked more like a racing incident, with a bit more to blame at Hamilton.
        I was suspicious about that right after the crash, looking at his reactions – he was unusually smooth.
        Anyway, it’s always bad not to have Hamilton in the race.

    2. oh batador you amuse me. It seems even when Hamilton apologises and takes the blame, he gets stick for it.

      Hamilton haters really are hilarious

      1. wait i totally take that back. i misread your comment lol

        1. Agree with “batador” it wasn’t 100% his fault, it was more like 85%.

          1. Hewis Lamilton
            29th August 2011, 14:58

            85% + 15% = 100% Hamilton’s fault. Disagree… argue with Lewis himself.

        2. just trying to avoid post comment backlash, it wasn’t 100% your fault

    3. beckenlima (@)
      28th August 2011, 18:57

      I think FIA should really ban him for the rest of the season.

      1. Oh, common every sport like bad boys. For example what is the most memorable action from World Cup final when France played against Italy. Do you remember penalties, no! You have Zidane head action against Materazzi in front of your eyes. Bad boys like Montoya or now Hamilton makes races more exciting

        1. There is a kind-of-funny Vodafone ad in Spanish TV during F1 races. You see Hamilton’s face while a voice reads a list of bad guys from movies and fairy tales. Then Hamilton says (rather quietly) “Boo!”. Then the voice says: “Admit it, the badder the bad guy, the better the movie”. That’s it. They have a point, I guess.

        2. its not really bad boys. its exciting crash-a-holics that f1 loves. sato, kamui and lewis althought kamui has cleaned up. love him or loathe him, lewis is fun to watch. he either wins or its the teams fault or he has a big crash. Lewis doesnt fit the bad boy bill.

      2. Seems a bit harsh.

      3. Seems a bit ridiculous.

    4. To be honest, I agree that in my view Hamilton certainly was not completely to blame.
      But as he was wrong certainly wrong not to look in his mirrors there, its good to see him tell Kobayashi (and the world in general) that he is sorry about it.

      1. I also agree with your view, so that makes two of us :-p

        Good for him for taking blame after seeing the replays though, I like it when drivers do that and not ask for others to be banned from the track. Let’s hope he can have a nice clean race next time around to keep our illusions of a WDC fight somewhat alive :-p

      2. The view via a mirror on an F1 car is very limited. Big blindspots, even if you have time to look.

        Hamilton’s car was slow today – I think he misjudged his timing (safety window) slightly and moved across fractionally too early.

        Thus it was Hamilton’s error that caused him to retire – I think that’s what he’s saying, that he made a mistake and caused an accident. I don’t think that the speed and apparent aggression of KK are relevant to his “100%” comment.

        1. Well that’s not right. For starters, he’d already passed Kamui cleanly and retaken the racing line before any of this occurred.

          Secondly, Kamui approached from one side, Lewis’ left. I think it’s fair to reason that if the mirrors couldn’t be used to see where Kamui was, the mirrors might as well not be on the car at all.

          Kamui did absolutely nothing overly aggressive this time and had every right to be where he was. Lewis got careless, didn’t pay attention, and took them both out of the race because of it.

          I think you also have to remember is that between his first post race comments and this apology, the Mclaren PR boys have been drilling into him what he is meant to say.

          I’m not saying he is in the wrong. He just made a mistake. But I don’t see why excuses need to be made for him. He made a mistake. Not anyone else. And it was avoidable too.

          1. Hate or love it, Lewis was consistent with his thoughs. Back in Canada, he made a similar move on Button and everybody came here to say he was “over ambitions”, “there was no gap” and bla bla bla. Then Lewis says he was wrong fro not giving enought space to the atacking driver and we still have people calling him “careless” and bla bla. Give him a break.

          2. I agree with JCost. In my opinion this was very similar to Montreal, where Hamilton got stick for Button moving across on him. Button couldn’t see then due to spray, but it was still his fault and Hamilton had every right to stick his car slightly alongside. The same happened here, with Lewis being at fault for moving over across Kobyashi without checking his mirrors.

      3. Ditto with BasCB and bosyber.
        It’s actually very refreshing to hear a race driver say “it was my fault”. A sign of maturity from The Wild One, perhaps?

    5. :) incredible! :)

    6. just trying to escape a post race penalty, it wasn’t 100% his fault

      I see some people think Lord Lewis walks on water.

  2. Well said, mate. We don’t need another “Trulli-Sutil-pictures” incident!

    1. I don’t know – that was pretty hilarious. ;-)

      1. Haha, that makes me wish Hamilton never accepted responsibility for the incident now.

        1. Au contraire, I think that besides DRS’s and whatnot, a little aggravation is exactly what’s missing… a pinch of contact sport mentality, if you will

      2. F1 just needs drama sometimes ;)

        1. And Maldonado didn’t provide that yesterday?

          1. Not really outside the track, bring on Montoya for action-drama

      3. yeah, but it bordered the embarrasing :P

    2. A nice comment by Lewis, maybe too harsh on himself though!

      1. Yeah I agree. It takes a lot of courage from a man to admit he’s in the wrong. Especially considering most people view it at as a 50/50 incident (including me).

        1. “most people” might be an exaggeration. i am not sure how you can attribute 50% of the blame to kamui.

          1. ‘Cause, there is brake pedal if you’re aware of it. He could have hit brakes or just going off the throttle would help… If Lewis stayed on his line that would help as well.
            Consequently we are easy on Kamui attributing half of the blame when there was 2/3 on his behalf.
            No matter of blame precentage, Lewis lost the race. Considering Jenson’s performance MP4-26 was the best car again. Damage has been done and no empty talk will change it.

          2. So Kamui should just give up his position on the track?

        2. Hewis Lamilton
          29th August 2011, 18:00

          It’s easy for a man to admit he is in the wrong when he actually is in the wrong. 100% in the wrong in this case. I have nothing but respect for Hamilton, but I find myself not wanting to see him succeed simply because his fans think he is perfect.

          Fopr the record, I don’t think Hamilton will win another Championship in his career.

  3. I wish I could copy all of the posts from the first discussion (Hamilton: “I was ahead and got hit”) and just point out how some people blindly comment and protect Hamilton. “It was 100% Kobayashis fault” is an ignorant statement from everyone who said that.

    1. hehe yeah. +1 to all of those who said it was not Kobs fault and -1 to all of those who blindly defended him.

      1. Geordie Porker
        28th August 2011, 19:21

        Even accepting that Hamilton has changed his view, I still see this as Kobayashi’s fault…there’s no other driver on the grid who would have put his car there. Hamilton didn’t see him so took the racing line.

        But hey, clearly Hamilton thinks it’s better to claim the blame and apologise

        1. He stayed on his racing line, i don’t see why he should yield his position on track when he was side by side with another car, regardless if no other driver on the grid would be there or not.
          Its simple Hamilton had the run into the corner there was no need to move to the left, he misjudged where Kobayashi was it was a racing incident.

          1. But they weren’t side by side, KK’s front wheel touched Lewis’ rear wheel. If people regard Canada as being Hamilton’s fault (as I do) then they must see this as KK’s fault, surely?

          2. Because his position was lost already…

        2. Oh, I think Hamilton would have put his car there without question. If he didn’t go for gaps like that, he wouldn’t be Lewis. Obviously he doesn’t expect to be racing himself, but I admire his fairness and consistency here.

      2. And for those of us who said 50/50 – are we stuck on zero? :P

        Still a 50/50 incident for me, I sense a bit of PR in action, or at least some sensitivity to how the public perceives him.

    2. koby'sleftfoot
      29th August 2011, 1:05

      Yeah, I usually don’t bother with the comments on this site but reading back through today’s posts by the blind Hami crowd on this site was a funny way to end to a great weekend of racing.

  4. Bbcf1 forever
    28th August 2011, 18:19

    So much for all the stick the Lewis fans gave Kamui. Looks like to me they should apologize now!

    1. Looks to me like they shouldn’t. First of all I didn’t see anyone calling Kamui names. Secondly, the fact that Lewis takes the blame, doesn’t mean that he’s right. It was completely unnecessary and it’s making Hamilton’s fans less likely to defend him in the future.

      I still think that avoiding contact is the responsibility of the driver who’s behind. Kobayashi had plenty of time to assess the situation, but did nothing to avoid contact. And it’s nothing personal against Kamui. Actually I quite like him, but that’s how I see this particular situation.

  5. Huh…!The usual lewis..saying somethin after the race and then negating it thru tweets… Lewis is a exciting driver to watch in a car but i am getting bored of lewis statements more than Vettel’s race wins

    1. After watching the replay

      Post race it may have felt he did nothing wrong (see in car footage for that), then he comes out and says publicly he was wrong and it’s not good enough.

      Come on, I mean give the guy at least a smidgen of credit once in a while for doing the right thing. Jeez.

    2. If the press were looking out for Lewis’s best interests, they’d give him time to get his bearings after races like this before approaching him. But they know it makes great copy if he hasn’t had a chance to step back.

  6. I think McLaren would save a lot of money bringing to Hamilton. In addition, his time has passed. There are new drivers. Hes not dispensable.

    1. I think what you’re perhaps saying is that he is disposable. I hope it is sarcasm because he definitely is within the top 3 drivers in the world (I would rate him the best between Vettel and Alonso, but we can never agree on that). Furthermore there is quite a margin from those 3 drivers to the rest of the field.

    2. He might be ‘dispensible’, but then so too are half the grid,like Alonso, Webber, Sutil, Rosberg. Schumacher, Barichelo, Button. Are you really suggesting an influx of 50% rookies next season?
      That was deliberately incendiary comment Chack, and one that has neither supporting argument or logic.

  7. Got to admire his honesty. This was unexpected and after the whole Maldonado affair it’s given me a little more reassurance that F1 isn’t as callous as I thought.

  8. I bet the fanboys (or Whitmarsh) will still find a way to blame Kobayashi… seriously though, it’s good to see a driver swallowing his pride and admitting a mistake.

  9. Wow. I’m surprised and impressed by this.

    I’m a Kobayashi fan and even I thought it was a pure racing incident. Completely 50/50 in my book. Respect to Lewis for coming out and being honest, even if I think he may be being a little too hard on himself.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. I agree with you 100%. Why cant a crash be a racing incident anymore? In a way I blame the FIA and the stewards because they have been quick to hand out penalties and aportion blame to drivers recently. This has led to the situation where a crash must be someones fault and calling a crash a racing incident doesnt sit with people anymore.

      1. i feel very much the same way about it. and it has been like this for quite a while now

      2. I very much agree with this.

    3. Agreed. I’m a fan of both of them, but I think it was at most Lewis 60/40 Kamui. I wonder if Lewis is a bit dejected knowing that he’s probably blown his last championship hopes… :(

  10. How can this and Canada be Hamiltons fault, and how is this 100% Hes fault, this is just PR talk Hes been instructed to say. This isnt the first time KOB as wiped out someone at 140mph, think it was Brazil 09 against YAM?.

    1. He just said it was his fault 100%, he knows more than we do what he did in that moment.

      1. Exactly, it obviously wasn`t 100% Hes fault, Its PR prepared stuff, which is worrying in a different way.

        1. Oh God, just remembered who He`s manager/PR is.

    2. Brazil 09 incident was with Nakajima. Considering that Kobayashi hasn’t had such an incident since that race, the example you brought up doesn’t really back up what you’re trying to say. And it is possible that you can be at fault for two incidents, though I’d say Hamilton was unlucky in Canada really.

  11. I think Lewis is being a bit hard on himself, I’d say it was a pure racing accident. Hamilton should have checked to make sure he was clear of Kobayashi, Kobayashi should have just slotted into place.

    Shame, Hamilton could have been on the podium, and Kobayashi’s race seemed to fall apart when he came in on the 2nd safety car lap due to a “miscommunication”.

    1. I agree its a racing incident but i don’t see why Kobayashi had to slot into place when he got a tow and had the speed to move alongside Hamilton. In reality there was no need for Hamilton to move across on Kobayashi when he had the optimum line to the corner.

      Hamilton wasn’t being hard on himself he knew it was a racing incident its just in hindsight he realised he misjudged the whereabouts of Kobayashi(i really doubt his mirrors would’ve helped him).

  12. Lewis’ first reaction made me think, there he goes again…crybaby…always somebody else’s fault. But after seeing what really happened, he has owned up to the truth, and I am very proud of him. A hopeful sign of maturity.

  13. Can not be coincidence, Hamilton crashes in every race. It is the first time he says it is your fault, so not forgiven the amount of money lost. I am seriously concerned for the lives of pilots, because of the despair of Hamilton. I think he should go for the good of others.

    1. A bit harsh dont you think? Also if Hamilton leaves something would be missing.

      1. Repair bills?

    2. Come on Chack that is just hatetalk, try to look at all teams and competitors fairly, you will live a longer happier life.

    3. In Canada I think he said he was partly to blame, or no one, and it was a racing incident, didn’t he?

    4. Er, apart from Canada a few races back, when he said it was 100% his fault also.

    5. Hamilton crashes in every race.

      You’re so right, Chack. I don’t know how we all missed that. That must be why he has so many DNFs this year. I mean TWO. It’s, like, totally every race!


  14. Well I said it was a racing incident before and I stand by that. Just unfortunate.

    1. Anybody has a good video link?

  15. Great comment by Hamilton, but I have this minor feeling that it is fake…

    1. Do you think they faked the bad grammar?

  16. “Apologies to Kamui and to my team. The team deserves better from me.”

    I think he is being a tad harsh on himself. He destroyed his teammate in qualifying despite the damage Maldonado to his car and was doing well in the race. Although I would “blame” Hamilton for moving across the road in this instance (much like I blamed Button in Montreal), it was a racing incident, and does not owe his team any apologies.

    1. Button only missed q3 because of a tactical error by the team. He lead in q1. So he wasn’t destroyed at all by Hamilton. I can’t believe you think this.

      1. Ok, but I maintain that Lewis did a great job in Q2 and Q3, and considering Button’s usual pace, I did not see him doing better than Ham’s 2nd.

    2. This is closest to my feelings on it, too, but I like that he apologized to the team anyway. He hasn’t always been so thoughtful of them this year. It’s like Schumacher in qualifying yesterday – “At first, I wasn’t sure what had happened, as I just felt myself lose the back end suddenly which is why I instantly apologised to the team” – that an apology was his immediate instinctive reaction to dropping out of competition is classy. The teams work hard on these cars, even if they’re mainly faceless to us, and I like that Hamilton seems to appreciate that, too.

  17. The time will prove me right. while discussing if Hamilton is hard on himself or not, McLaren loses money fixing your car in every race. coincidence? I think not. Greetings friends, still enjoy the F1. :)

    1. Considering the huge cost of running a top F1 team, I doubt that repairing a car is a big deal, so I would question your understanding of Formula 1. This isnt a privateer team in the BTCC you know.

      The greater cost is not finishing the races, which admittedly needs to be addressed!

  18. i know that Martin Whitmarsh said to Lewis:
    blame yourself, not Kamui cause we need it to have a good strategy of McLaren marketing :D

  19. Hamilton has so much bad luck and so many races he crashes out from, some through his own ambitious moves and some through no fault of his own, i know this isn’t the case but it seems to me like he either wins spectacularly or just crashes out and doesnt finish, it’s as though theres no middle ground..he never comes home in like 6th or 7th for example, it’s all or nothing. But yet i remember in 07 & 08 him being so consistant on the podium…gone are the days :(

    1. I agree, in 2007 he was the rookie, he had a lot more respect for the other guys and i think that also played a big part as to why he was so consistent. I loved seeing the Lewis from back then because he was the good and nice guy back then, not the bad boy like now.

    2. It’s easy to be consistent when you are in pretty much the fastest car. Like Hamilton had in 2007.

      It’s when there is a need for overtaking or when being overtaken that problems arise.

      The McLaren wasn’t fastest in 2008 and Hamilton was hardly consistent then.

      Vettel is probably the best example of this effect. He’s fine when there is no one around him. Perfect perhaps even. Put another car around him and it’s almost certain that crashes or spins will be the result.

      1. It’s hardly certain, since Seb dealt with multiple cars today.

    3. Hamilton is having a crashaholic year but he is still fun to watch. a few more dnfs might be the lesson he needs.

  20. Very big from Lewis. It was his fault by the fact he didn’t look in his mirrors but at the same time I hope he isn’t beating himself up because it’s just one of those racing incidents which could happen to anyone and it’s understandable that he thought he’d be ahead of Kamui.

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