Hamilton: I gave Rosberg space to avoid contact

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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.”

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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

  1. I’m trying my hardest not to boo Rosberg away from the adrenalin of the race. It’s a racing incident that could’ve been avoided, right? It’s a racing incident that isn’t just a racing incident, but one that has serious WDC implications. Rosberg’s actions, accidental or not, directly put in jeopardy a rival’s title chances.

    As a Hamilton fan this is harder to swallow than a faulty brake or PU.

    And I don’t understand why Eddie Jordan is telling possibly Lewis fans not to boo Rosberg. Why are we not allowed to boo rivals questionable racing decisions?

    • Baron (@baron) said on 24th August 2014, 15:35

      Because its traditionally not sporting to ‘boo’ the competition. You can show disfavour in a ‘sporting’ manner by remaining silent, or even turning your back, but booing? Never!

      • David BR2 said on 24th August 2014, 15:54

        That completely depends on the fans’ evaluation of the sportingness of the competitor. Given Monaco qualifying, Rosberg’s repeated refusal to ever apologize for his mistakes or admit when he’s been beaten on the day, and now a collision he caused that takes out his title rival – yes, some people may have doubts about how sporting he is.

    • Because booing shows a supreme immaturity and lack of intellect. It is NEVER an appropriate response in sport.

      It’s just sport after all.. it in no way impacts on your life.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 24th August 2014, 16:00

      You are complaining about an unsporting-like action… through an unsporting-like action?

  2. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 24th August 2014, 15:14

    If they were in different teams and Hamilton’s team had complained to the stewards, do you think they would have given a penalty? I can’t remember a consistent ruling in this regard, I’ve seen better examples result in drive through penalties and worse examples not be penalised.

  3. Hemz Shaw (@hemzshaw) said on 24th August 2014, 15:18

    It’s really sad that fans of each other will start fighting! Worse is team openly criticising Nico is way too loud..

  4. rudi (@rudi) said on 24th August 2014, 15:19

    Cheers for Ricciardo!
    Lewis/Hamilton: So you think the back driver should not be allowed to put pressure on the front driver? If this is the conclusion for the Mercedes -board it will be a black day for Mercedes and F1.

  5. Pawel (@marik) said on 24th August 2014, 15:21

    I won’t be surprised when they won’t be allowed to race any more this year.
    Stupid move from Rosberg. Ten centimetres forward and he would smash his wing on Hamilton’s rim.

    • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 24th August 2014, 16:27

      When it came to the point of contact Rosberg didn’t make a move. He had gone wide, oversteered and just as he got his wheel back straight again Hamilton ran over his front wing. At that point there was really nothing that Rosberg could do to avoid contact.

  6. Howard (@howard) said on 24th August 2014, 15:23

    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.

  7. Stig Semper Fi (@stigsemperfi) said on 24th August 2014, 15:24

    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.

  8. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 24th August 2014, 15:25

    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.

  9. Mackeine Loveine (@cocaine-mackeine) said on 24th August 2014, 15:26

    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.

  10. Oli (@dh1996) said on 24th August 2014, 15:27

    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.

    • 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.

  11. ResultantAsteroid said on 24th August 2014, 15:29


  12. Thomas Gallacher said on 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!

  13. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 24th August 2014, 16:04

      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.

  14. lawrence said on 24th August 2014, 15:39

    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.

    • Alex Ward said on 24th August 2014, 15:50


    • trublu (@trublu) said on 24th August 2014, 15:54

      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.

      • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 24th August 2014, 16:32

        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. 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.

    • Slowhands (@slowhands) said on 24th August 2014, 16:30

      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.

    • Mark in Florida said on 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.

  15. 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…?

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