Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Hamilton: I gave Rosberg space to avoid contact

2014 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Lewis Hamilton says he gave Nico Rosberg space to avoid a collision when the pair made contact during the Belgian Grand Prix.

The two Mercedes drivers tangled on the second lap of the race, leaving Hamilton with a puncture that ruined his race, and Rosberg with a damaged front wing.

“Whilst I was driving I didn’t really understand what had happened,” Hamilton told reporters after the race.

“I felt quite a big thud at the rear and then I watched on the replay just now I gave the guy space and I don’t really understand.”

“But it’s just really gutting for the result and also really for the team. My guys work so hard every weekend and we’ve had such a tough year, the guys that are on my side of the garage, just generally in terms of the whole team. This is not good points for the team, we could have easily had a one-two out there today, and so it’s just overall not a great feeling.”

Hamilton eventually retired from the race while Rosberg took second after pitting for a new front wing. Rosberg did not wish to apportion blame for the collision immediately after the race.

“I got a good run on Lewis,” said Rosberg on the podium, “and I tried to go around the outside and we just touched in the end unfortunately”.

“So that hurt both our races and so from a team point of view of course that’s very disappointing, and that’s the way it is.

“I haven’t seen it yet, it wouldn’t be good of me if I were to comment on it now, I need to look at it on TV and then I can comment about it afterwards.”

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294 comments on “Hamilton: I gave Rosberg space to avoid contact”

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  1. Rosberg knew what he was doing, it was only lap 2 and he was trying to go around Lewis from that position???
    He knew exactly what to do.

  2. Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Mercedes garage after the race.

    It was just a racing incident, we’ve seen it many times before, it’s just a shame it happened to Lewis.

  3. Just regarding a penalty.

    Remember that at the Drivers/Teams request the FIA have relaxed the penalty’s the past few races to encourage the drivers to push a bit more when racing & overtaking.

    I think its right that he didn’t get a penalty to be honest as it was just a racing incident & it did also hinder his own race afterall.

  4. The incident today was just a small impact in the championsip, however, fans are now attacking Rosberg for a simple mistake he made. I’ve just had a discussion with a F1F who I suppose is a Hamilton fan, which now hates Rosberg for what happened. I’ll be straight, I think that the team orders in Malaysia 2013 were bad enough for Vettel to receive booing. Why? Because Vettel made Webber feel like a loser for 4 years! Today it wasn’t the big deal for a slight cut in the rear tyre for Hamilton. Yes, Rosberg got beneficiated by the contact, but maybe it was a slight mistake, not a intentional crash. Media and Mercedes will go mad offending Rosberg and pleasing Hamilton, which I think, its the most childish and pathetic thing I’ve ever witness in F1 since the Red Bull saga in 2010 (which had more sense than this one). I’m criticising any fan, I’m just saying that Rosberg was at fault (and he already admitted it) and he doesn’t deserve any booing or offense from anyone, even a Hamilton fan. I would say that it was more pathetic being whining every lap about the engine and retiring in the last 5 laps than cutting unintentionally the rear tyre of my rival.

    1. *I’m not criticising any F1 fan

    2. Gideon Hadi (@)
      24th August 2014, 15:34

      +3 finally a fair judgement from Lewis fans

      1. I’m not a Lewis fan, I’m an Alonso, so I’m looking the things from a different perspective.

    3. A. It was not a small impact on the championship.
      B. Rosberg has not yet admitted he was at fault.

    4. ROS did not admit any fault.

      1. @trublu @tino852 For what I understood on the podium he admitted it. Somehow. Not directly like “Yes it was my fault” but he did.

        1. @cocaine-mackeine ROS did nothing of the sort on the podium. He said he needed to watch video first

          1. @trublu Oh my….. then my mistake. Trash my comment then haha

  5. This might be an extremely unpopular opinion but I think Hamilton deserves a penalty.

    Not because of the contact, no. That was a 100% racing incident. But I think the stewards should start giving out penalties to drivers who don’t return to the pits with extreme caution while driving with a puncture. I’m not at all a fan of penalties in general but that was dangerous stuff that endangered others.

    1. I agree it was a bit dangerous but it is hard to give out penalties because delamination can be quite random and specific thing. A driver may be cautious but still create a lot of debris. It is a difficult thing to measure so some penalties could be given out unfairly.

  6. ResultantAsteroid
    24th August 2014, 15:29


  7. Thomas Gallacher
    24th August 2014, 15:34

    Rosberg too aggressive desperate, he made a clumsy move. He should be warned both their sakes or this will fester!

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    24th August 2014, 15:35

    It was 100% a racing incident.
    But, Nico was 100% at fault.

    Of course he didn’t do it maliciously or on purpose. It was clumsy, he should’ve backed out, and he didn’t have enough of his car alongside Lewis’s to warrant such a move.

    I’m bitterly disappointing by this result (over the moon about Dan though!), but I know Lewis is very strong around Monza, so I have no doubts he’ll be back firing on all cylinders (if his car will allow it) at the next round.

    1. People are missing that. It’s a mistake, too bad he is only racing his teammate and championship rival. Besides, if he had malicious intent, I doubt all Hamilton would’ve ended up with was a puncture; more likely Rosberg would lock up, hit him, send him spinning into the grass.

  9. One thing that stuck for me the most is that Lewis got let down by his own head again.
    Yes, he didn’t have to leave room for Nico, but is he ever able to asses the risk and find the right amount of margin that he needs to leave when in this kind of situation while fighting for the championship? He keeps doing this.
    Especially, this time it really was marginal and I remember Lewis being really rude in this defending against Nico in previous races this year.
    You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

    I for one am happy that Nico is really overshadowing Lewis in every manner now. He is now past the point where Lewis always knew Nico will back out when it’s crash-or-yield situation. Now it’s Lewis who will have to calculate if he wants to crash and burn or yield the space to Nico.
    I find it quite satisfying to watch this transformation in Rosberg, because he started off quite benign and Lewis kept putting him down in interviews, talking how Nico is not as ruthless not as hungry etc. Well, now he got what he asked for and we are seeing that in turn, it is exposing Lewis’ childish and weak side, where he’s easy to give up and lacks belief in being able to overturn his bad luck.

    I’m cheering for Nico this year, because he is the one who seems to be rising to the challenge with every race, unlike Lewis who seems to be showing one weakness after the other. Reminds me of 2008, where Alonso and Kubica drove like true champs, but unfortunately, the title was between Lewis and Massa who both kept messing it up.

    1. You really are blaming Lewis for what happened? He left more than enough room and if you were the least bit objective it would be obvious to you. Never have I heard people blame the driver that was ahead AND on the racing line for an incident like this.

      It’s one thing to call it a racing incident but to blame Hamilton is just laughable.

      1. He left NO room whatsoever for 2nd corner of Les Combes. Nico’s front wing was on the inside a little bit and Hamilton just ran over it. Had he taken a little bit of a wider line he could’ve avoided Nico’s front wing and it would’ve all been fine.

        1. +1. Hamilton presumed he could take the line and that Nico would back off. Apparently, he hadn’t realized that those days are over.

          It’s not like taking Nico’s line was an impossible move- just that he was a tad too far back. Otherwise, had Nico been more forward, he would have forced Lewis to fall off to the right and blocked the upcoming left-hander.

          If the cars had been a Caterham and a Marussia, I think we all would have called it racing incident.

    2. It has been really interesting to watch the mental ebb and flow of this battle over the season, and while I am an Alonso fan and am not really cheering for either, you have noted some of the key strengths and weaknesses of both drivers. Today is a good example of both violating one of the oldest rules of racing: “To finish first, you must first finish.” This means thinking of self-preservation to make it to the chequered flag. Lewis could have saved his own skin on this one. While he certainly gave room in the entry to the chicane, there was no need for him to go so sharply for the apex of the first left hander (even though he was “entitled” to do so by being ahead). the next turn comes up quickly and is in his favor being a right hander, and he could have taken the racing line at that point from a position of strength. Both he and Nico showed poor instincts for self-preservation — Nico by forcing an outside pass that early in the race, placing himself in a vulnerable position dependent on Lewis’ car placement, and then Lewis by going straight for the racing line and chopping across Nico. They both seem to be showing some desperation rather than using their considerable experience to drive more maturely.

    3. Mark in Florida
      26th August 2014, 15:17

      A big thumbs up on that one, one hundred percent right. It’s all about Hamilton and what’s good for him. He’s been bad mouthing Rosberg all year now he’s got the animal not the gentleman to compete with.

  10. Is nobody going to point out how hard Hamilton drove with a delaminated tyre to wreck his floor? If he took it a bit slower down Blanchimont he might have secured some points with two prime stints…?

    1. +1. that is what most HAM fans are failing to acknowledge. If he would’ve kept his head cool he probably would’ve come out with some points

      1. Hamilton was still able to set a fast lap so this point is moot. If he had gone slower he’d have been farther back and in a more futile position.

        1. In that case he should’ve pushed on rather than complain about the engine every single lap

    2. @xtwl With 3+ miles to drive there was no point even continuing if he drove back slowly enough to stop the tyre flailing. 3 miles at 60 mph, for example, is 3 minutes, even if that’s slow enough. 10th place car is 2s a lap slower at most. How many laps are there? Do the math :)

      1. @lockup Through S2 he went at a good pace for his condition but in S3, through Blanchimon he suddenly almost floored it. I was on about that, not like he had to drive the entire lap very slow.

        1. @xtwl I don’t think they broadcast him through Blanchimont, do you mean Pouhon? He just had a wobble with cornering on 3 wheels. So he was doing the speed he had to, which was the speed to avoid being lapped.

  11. Very clumsy move by Nico, there was no room to overtake on the outside there, he was already behind. Anyway it’s not the end of the world for Lewis, he is only 29 points behind, the same deficit he had coming into Silverstone. So one retirement from Nico and Lewis is back in this. Or he can do it the hard way and win 4 races in a row.

  12. True, but that’s what makes it so much fun. It’s not just the racing, but the off-track drama that keeps us all hooked.

    Hamilton wasn’t at fault in any way on this one. But the Rosberg bashing is getting out of hand. To say that Rosberg “deliberately” touched Hamilton’s left-rear, is ridiculous. Everyone saw Hamilton’s puncture, but no one remembers that a big chunk of Rosberg’s front wing came off as well. He could’ve easily ended up with no front wing as Brundle pointed out.

  13. I watched the incident several times in slow motion. Nico’s jerk to the right looks very suspicious……or it doesn’t look like he was trying to avoid contact in the least. I’m beginning to think he’s one of those sneaky wormy kind of guys—-always nice on the outside but a crafty scheming cunning conniving little weasel on the inside

    1. This was clear from Monaco after not only ruining Hamiltons Qualifying, but everyone else’s as well, to get out of his car and fist pump to the camera shows he’s a snake.

    2. You clearly haven’t seen it enough times. He just recovered from a snatch of oversteer and he needed to go through the next corner as well. That jerk to the right was for the next corner where at the time there was enough room until Lewis drove into his front wing. Just a racing incident I’m afraid, Nico could’ve braked a little bit earlier to let Lewis go and Lewis could’ve left a little bit room to the inside of the second part of Les Combes.

  14. i can see this running to the end and if Ham gets within striking distance with double points, Rosberg will take Ham out anyway he can.

  15. World Champion Lewis Hamilton was driving ridiculously fast with an effectively missing wheel. That right there irrepairably damaged his car. Otherwise, with a smart strategy he could even have been in the top 5. But most people have already forgotten about it. Selective memory, the mantra of so many internet users. And Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda blaming Rosberg like that, wow! Who does that kind of thing? The incident could have been avoided by Rosberg, sure, but Hamilton didn’t leave comfortable space! And the podium-booers are back as well!

    1. Your comment is beyond absurd. If Hamilton didn’t push that lap, considering the length of the lap, he would’ve lost about a lap and a bit, best case. By being a lap down, you don’t benefit from any possible safety car (unless you’re somewhere between the leading drivers, in which case they let you get back on the leading lap). If he loses a lap to the 5th placed car(which he would have by driving slower), that means he has to make up 2 minutes in 43 laps against a Red Bull/Ferrari/Williams. That means a 2.8 delta between his lap and the lap from the 5th car. So no top 5 for Lewis. Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff are blaming Rosberg because he forced an overtake on lap 2 on the outside of a corner, gifting Red Bull a win.

  16. Talking about inflicting some pain LOL! :)

  17. As big of a Lewis fan as I am, there are truths about the Nico/Lewis incident that I need to state:

    – It was a racing incident. I don’t think you can fault Nico for wanting to get ahead at that stage in the race. Mercedes precedent has been that the car in front gets to decide primary strategy for the rest of the race. He had a chance, and he took it. In the (paraphrased), if you you don’t go for the gap, you’re no longer a racing driver.
    – Lewis had a choice to make. Drive at 30 mph and try to keep the tire intact or drive as fast as possible to get back to the pits. Either way, his race was ruined. As a racing driver, your task is to maximize your potential to have a result. Lewis chose the quickest route and the tire did not stay together. If the danger from debris was too high for other drivers, the FIA should have stepped in to neutralize the race and clear the track. It’s no different from a driver dumping parts, gravel, oil, etc all over the track after an incident. To call for a penalty is insane.
    – Booing is a completely legitimate way to voice your displeasure as a fan. Right, wrong, or otherwise, there is no rule that states you have to unconditionally support a driver. Fan support is not free. It is earned through actions. That is why we don’t all have the same favorite drivers, and cheering for/against our favorites is a paid privilege for attending a race.
    – If Mercedes uses team orders from here on out, it will be up to them. As much as we hate seeing or hearing about team orders, we should never forget that the driver/car combos on track are mere representatives of the hundreds of people in the pits and at the factory. From a pragmatic standpoint, a driver’s championship just plain does not matter as much to a team as a constructor’s championship, money-wise. This is why backmarker teams would give anything (and do, especially plenty of money) to move up 1 or 2 spots in the final constructor’s championship. It’s how the majority of bills get paid.

  18. “Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment – and Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things – so the hunger is different,”

    I guess hamilton should be changing his mind now!

  19. Reminded me of when Hamilton clipped Massa’s rear tyre at Singapore. I don’t remember many saying that was a racing incident back then, it was clearly Hamilton’s fault.

    To me its clearly a mistake by Rosberg and he is to blame, but reading most of the comments here I guess I’m in the minority!

    1. i’m agreeing with you. we must be in the minority lol, and if my memory is right he was penalized for the contact with Massa, the lap before lewis and vettel was racing at the same corner and no contact was made.

  20. To the People who seem to think it may have been deliberate by Nico…

    Do you really think he would intentionally drive into Lewis like that & risk damaging his own front wing (Which he did which badly hurt his race)?

    1. Ruthless German mentality……….

    2. @PeterG Yes. Nico could afford to lose a front-wing endplate in exchange for puncturing Lewis. Routine outcome.

      He gained 18 points. Self-evident really, even without that second steering input.

      1. So Fisichella gave MSC a puncture on purpose in Brazil 2006 did he? That’s exactly how ridiculous you sound.

      2. Rosberg would gain a lot of respect from me if he was able to deliberately create an incident with that exact outcome, an exchange of endplate vs. puncture. That´s a whole lot of precision neccessary to do that, and he would also need to exactly know how the other driver would place his car. I do seriously doubt this is within the range of Rosbergs abilities.

      3. But as Martin Brundle said on sky having spoken to Pirelli, There’s a very small area of the tyre that is at risk from a puncture while the chances of damaging your front wing is 100% in that sort of contact.

        And like Anthony Davidson said you can’t actually even see your front wing from the cockpit so to aim to hit the very small area on the sidewall that guarantee’s a puncture without damaging your own wing is impossible.

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