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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. f1aroo said on 24th August 2014, 15:51

    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

    • 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.

    • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 24th August 2014, 16:36

      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.

  4. lethalnz said on 24th August 2014, 15:54

    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.

  5. 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!

    • 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.

  6. lawrence said on 24th August 2014, 16:04

    Talking about inflicting some pain LOL! :)

  7. Xa (@drifterxa) said on 24th August 2014, 16:06

    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.

  8. Sohaib Ahmad (@sohebbasharat) said on 24th August 2014, 16:08

    “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!

  9. John H (@john-h) said on 24th August 2014, 16:12

    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!

    • Scepter (@scepter) said on 24th August 2014, 19:50

      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.

  10. PeterG said on 24th August 2014, 16:13

    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)?

    • Howard (@howard) said on 24th August 2014, 16:17

      Ruthless German mentality……….

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

      @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.

      • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 24th August 2014, 16:37

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

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 24th August 2014, 16:42

        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.

      • PeterG said on 24th August 2014, 17:23

        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.

  11. Oh please, it was a race incident. Nico did what he had to do. Bad luck for Ham, as he was probably the expected winner today. He has to fight back now.

  12. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 24th August 2014, 16:30

    Pretty clearly a mistake on Rosberg’s part, but frankly really only a very small one. The puncture made it seem a lot more dramatic than it was – we’ve seen plenty of little bumps like that all season and before, and they don’t usually end in a puncture. Hamilton was unlucky that this did shred his tyre, but otherwise I think most people would just shrug it off as a fairly minor racing incident.

    It’s a shame it seems to be taking away everyone’s attention from the absolute farce of Ferrari sending mechanics onto the track while the cars are pulling away.

  13. Racing incident, yes, but I think that Nico took an unnecessary risk very early in the race.
    Going into the braking zone Lewis was ahead, you are just not going to pass someone on the outside of Les Combes when you are so far back. Putting you front wing alongside even when you know you can’t pass is a cheeky move and I really hate it when they do it to me when I play racing games online. It’s legal, yes, but a driver of his experience should know when you can overtake and when you can’t.
    Rosberg should have just backed out of it, he wasn’t going to overtake Hamilton on that occasion anyway.

    Honestly, though, it’s amazing how many points they are throwing away. Today they clearly had the fastest car (two seconds per lap quicker than anyone else!) and they managed not to win.

  14. Yayra A (@xdugu19) said on 24th August 2014, 16:34

    Anyone remember Singapore 2011 when a similar accident happened between Hamilton and Massa and Hamilton got the penalty? The issue is not whether it was racing incident. The real issue is that at the end Rosberg was clumsy and Hamilton came out worse. if the double points in Abu Dabi causes Hamilton to win the championship, I per say wouldn’t think that was unfair.

  15. Right, here we go…

    After that superb performance, Rosberg should not have been booed. He overcome a change in strategy, a broken front wing, and a bit of debris flying in his face at 200mph and still finished second. What a superb drive from lap 3 onwards.

    However, what happened on lap 2 baffled me from Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes. Mercedes clearly had a significant performance advantage here. That was clear from FP1. All that they would have achieved by going wheel-to-wheel like they attempted on lap 2 was only ever going to end in one of two ways: either contact, which happened, or both drivers holding each other up and the two Red Bulls capitalising on it as a result. I think it was a 50-50 incident in terms of the drivers. Hamilton took the racing line as he is entitled to but he could have left room too. It was a bit ambitious from Rosberg but without taking to the run-off, he had nowhere else to go. Mercedes should have ensured that the two drivers were absolutely clear of the Red Bulls before letting them go wheel-to-wheel like that. Mercedes should have come away with 43 points today. They came away with just 18. Something seriously wrong happened and it wasn’t with the car this time. Mercedes may need to change their stance on team orders for the second time in two races.

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