Hamilton: With hindsight perhaps I should have just let him past

Lewis Hamilton returns to the pits with a burst right rear tyre after the incident with Valterri Bottas

Lewis Hamilton returns to the pits with a burst right rear tyre after the incident with Valterri Bottas

Lewis Hamilton admitted after his incident packed Brazilian Grand Prix that he did not know what happened when he banged wheels with Valterri Bottas, which saw the Williams driver retire on the spot and the Mercedes driver handed a drive through penalty for causing a collision.

It was a crestfallen Hamilton who spoke to media immediately afterwards, “I don’t know what happened exactly. I thought that I had moved to the left, he outbraked me and then we touched but it happened so quickly and it was obviously judged [by the stewards] that I did something wrong.”

“I guess it’s a racing incident really. I saw him catching me and I moved over and then I didn’t think he was going to make it in time because we were in the braking zone, so I started creeping back to turn and he dived down the outside and braked quite a lot later.”

Game over for Valtteri Bottas

Game over for Valtteri Bottas

“He couldn’t have gone round the outside, plus he was a lap down. For me I was thinking that I was trying to catch Fernando so if [Valterri] goes past I might lose time to Fernando. With hindsight perhaps I should have just let him past because obviously we would have avoided that incident. He was quite quick, he had newer tyres than me – he had just pitted – so it’s something that we’ll learn for the future.”

“I was having a good race until that point in fourth place and a podium might have been possible as I was closing on Fernando. A podium was achievable, which is why it was so disappointing. I am just glad it’s over,” said Hamilton.

But added, “Of course I’m delighted for the team. They have done an incredible job this year and really deserve this result. It’s the reward for what I know has been many years of hard work and my thoughts are with everyone here at the track and back at our factories at Brackley and Brixworth. We’ve got so much to look forward to next season so I’ll put [this race] behind me quickly and focus on what should be a great year in 2014.”

Bottas had little to say, “I tried to keep my line overtaking on the outside and we touched. It’s disappointing to end the season like this but a points-finish may have been too much for us.” (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • captain tortuga

    Although i agree it was Lewis his fault, the penalty was ridiculous.

    he already had lost round about 30 secs liming back to the pits, then he loses another 25-30sec doing the drivethrough..

    I think without the incident Ham would have had a shot at the podium.

    It was a pure racing incident, and i don’t understand that Lewis has to eat a drivethrough, while (as always) Crashtor also crashed, and got away with it.

    Those stewards, and the mega-irritating inconsistency in the rules should be banned directly.

    It is just ridiculous. Massa also had a ‘story’ for crossing that area next to the pits.. i would say, if it is illegal to drive on it.. put some frigging curbstones there .. (preferably the beton-grey ones that they use in every city nowadays) im certain no one will take that shortcut then. ..

    Also this whole “leave a cars width rule” is beyond rational thinking. Why can’t an F1 driver not defend?!? I understood the rule in the beginning, because it was already hard enough to pass with all the distorted airflow when trailing a car, but now with KERS and DRS, i think drivers should be allowed to defend much, much more aggressively, this way also midfield cars make way more chance of climbing the podium once in a while, because now someone like the Hulk just has to yield on a straight line, because he will get a penalty if he doesn’t just “give” the position away.

    The blue flags should be banned if you ask me. the guys in the slower cars have already a much tougher job to do than the guys in the top-tier teams, because a CTH of a MAR is nearly undrivable. So in that respect, i feel that faster traffic should just work a away around those backmarkers. They can still have blue flags to raise some awareness with the slower driver that the fight is not for position, but that he is being lapped.
    On the other hand, lapped cars should not be able to unlap themselves that easy.

    Here Bottas ( i like the guy) came from very very far, breaking extremely late and creating a risk for a frontrunner, that he knows he will never catch up.
    so for unlapping i suggest that a backmarker must be able to proof that he is held up by the frontrunner for at least 2 laps. if thats the case the frontrunner should get a message, (or a flag) that a slower car wants to unlap himself.

    then i also feel that changing an engine/gearbox should not cost the driver gridposition. I personally think that it is beter to deduct 1 point of the total tally for a gearbox, and 2 for an engine/powerplant-thingy.

    But most of all, i feel that some rich bloke should stand up, and should say : “ok, enough is enough, i just founded the Formula-Real” everyone has a max-budget (say like 1-200 million) and there are no rules concerning development, you can use V10 or W16 turbo’s or superchargers, jet engines, skirts, whatever you can think of, and then … we race!”

    that would be nice :D

  • TWD


  • Boycotthehaters

    The penalty was harsh, but then most penalties are harsh. It’s rare that the penalty seems appropriate to the “crime”. I suppose the penalty HAS to be harsh to get the drivers attention.

  • Ian Mac

    Does anybody know who the drivers’ rep amongst the stewards was this time?
    Maybe there wasn’t one, which might explain the stupidity shown.

  • Editor

    @Ian it was Mark Blundell

  • McLarenfan

    @captain tortuga:
    A lot of truth in there and I was amazed the piggy bank Psychonardo didn’t get a drive through or even a life time ban,
    I feel so many penalties are hitting drivers for things they can’t control. Gearbox 1 or 2 constructors points deduction.
    Turbo toaster 1 or 2 constructors points deduction.
    As for blocking fix the gps.
    If you are a danger to others (Psychonardo) back to race school until you learn.
    Bring back active suspension ground affect traction control and stuff no blown diffuser as that affected the sounds but double-decker diffuser OK