Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Hamilton: “I was ahead and got hit”

2011 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Update: Hamilton has changed his view of this incident: Hamilton accepts blame for Kobayashi crash

Lewis Hamilton blamed Kamui Kobayashi for the crash that put him out of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking after the crash he said: “I’m not really quite sure, to be honest. I hit the wall pretty hard.

“It’s a bit unfortunate, the team were in a good position.

“As far as I was concerned I was ahead of whoever it was I was racing and I got hit by them and that was my race over.

“That’s motor racing. There’s been a lot of races we haven’t finished this year so that’s just another one of them.”

Hamilton said his car had poor straight line speed which made it difficult to pass other cars:

“I think we were struggling. For whatever reason we were massively slow on the straights. Massively, massively slow.

“And I guess that’s what put us in that position. Everyone was just pulling away from me on the straights.

“I think we probably had a little too much downforce on.”

However he reckoned a top-three finish was possible:

“We were in a good position, we were still able to challenge. I got past one of the Ferraris, I think we could have at least got a podium.”

The stewards have taken no action over the collision.

Update: Here’s what Kobayashi had to say about the crash: “Regarding the accident with Lewis Hamilton, which happened when I was running in fourth, I knew perfectly well he was faster than me so had no reason to fight with him.

“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.”

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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146 comments on “Hamilton: “I was ahead and got hit””

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  1. Hamiltons fault. There was no need to go back to the racing line. He didnt even know KK was there.

  2. From Lewis’ Twitter Account a few moments ago:

    “After watching the replay, I realize 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. Best wishes, Lewis”

  3. At a certain point not so long ago the people in formula one worked out that it made sense to make slightly heavy tough suspension that could take a few hits. Over a season it scored you more points even though maybe the car was slightly heavier and so slower.

    The drivers because of the high sides to the cockpit can’t see what’s alongside and slightly behind them. Why don’t they fit a few small cameras and a little screen, or some kind of display to the helmet. …OK it’s more weight and it’s a bit complicated, but it might actually be worth it over a season.

    …especially for Lewis at the moment. ;-)

    [full disclosure: I’m a Hamilton fan]

  4. Hamilton got a lot of stick for going up the outside of Button in Canada when he was obviously faster. Today Kobiashi knew he was not faster than Hamilton as he said ,and was just passed, he had no reason being up the outside. However, as Hamilton said, his car was massively slow so perhaps, Kobi got up beside him without trying. Having passed Kobi, Lewis had no reason to believe Kobi would bu on his outside and going for the racing line is what he should have done. Taking the blame 100% is just a gentlemanly thing, especially because he knows he will be getting lots of criticism. I think you can hardly apportion blame, unless one expects Kobi to stop running altogether.

  5. This being judged a racing incident is rare these days. Almost everything else has to be punished, as if the drivers are not punished already with damage to their car etc. Nobody hits the opposition on purpose, but of course sometimes the contact is a consequence of dangerous driving.
    Often a drive through penalty also penalizes the victim, as it promotes other drivers previously behind the driver who made the offense. Some of the punishments seem to serve only the purpose of granting, the fans of the victim, some kind of justice. But is it fair to gift a no of drivers, not only one position, for the one who had a DNF due to a collision, but two positions, because the one who is “to blame” is punished and thus demoted. In which way have the drivers behind deserved this gift? Have they pushed the one in front so hard, that he made a mistake and caused an accident? Or are they just lucky?
    In F1 it is very difficult to ram the others of track to gain the win – collisions typically cause extra pitstops for new noses, tyres or it decrease the cars handling, so nobody does it by purpose. Sometimes a punishment or warning is needed, but often I don’t se the relevance, other than the “He was to blame, he must be punished!” Or is it part of the show?: “Car no. 9 is under investigation”, and we think “Oh, who is driving car no 9 and what has he done?”

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