Hamilton: “We both made mistakes”

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has issued a conciliatory statement following the collision with his team mate which left him point-less in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton said “Nico [Rosberg] and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.”

Hamilton, who lies 29 points behind Rosberg in the championship after failing to score in Sunday’s race, did not elaborate on whether he felt responsible for the contact, or whether his comments referred to earlier incidents in the season. Rosberg had been displeased by Hamilton’s refusal to obey an instruction to let him past during the previous race in Hungary.

Earlier today Mercedes said “disciplinary measures” were being taken after the pair made contact at Spa-Francorchamps.

“Today we came together as a team and discussed our differences,” said Hamilton in a statement on his official website. “Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.”

“What’s important is how we rise as a team from these situations. We win and we lose together and, as a team, we will emerge stronger.

“There is a deep foundation that still exists for me and Nico to work from, in spite of our difficult times and differences. We have the greatest team, the strongest group of individuals who have worked their hands to the bone to give us the best car you see us racing today.

“It’s important that we never forget that and give them the results they deserve. Today, Toto [Wolff] and Paddy [Lowe] told us clearly how we must race against each other from now on in a fair and respectful manner.

“The fans want to see a clean fight until the end of the season and that’s what we want to give them. It’s going to be a tough road from here but championships have been won from much further back than I am now. And I promise you that I will be giving everything and more to win this for my team, for my family and for my fans.”

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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62 comments on “Hamilton: “We both made mistakes””

  1. I wonder if racers boiling blood when they are racing wheel to wheel, would keep them as cool as they sound now. :)

  2. Today we came together as a team…


    Except for the interviews by Toto, Rosberg, Lauda and Hamilton, I feel they have ‘solved’ this pretty good. Though I do see it happening again and I am looking forward to what punishment we’ll see.

    1. They came almost together just under one tenth.
      Lewis win though…

  3. Where art thou statement, Nico? SURELY, it should be YOU that should be ‘contrite’!

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      30th August 2014, 1:27

      Nico already made a statement earlier apologizing for the contact that he now accepts responsibility for.

  4. I’m sorry but they both make me sick.Real men do not act like this.I’m talking about Nico during the race,Hamilton after the race,Nico with his childish video and now the whole team today.It all stinks.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one that thinks all this is childish.
      I cringe when I see Mercedes issuing hollow statements and forcing their drivers do the same, in the end these are grown men who will do what they want on track, whether the team (and the PR department) likes it or not.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      29th August 2014, 16:17

      I understand your point but to be honest, how many drivers would not throw a hissy fit having been taken out by their team mate who they are battling for the championship?

      Who in F1 would you describe as a “real man?”

      1. Did Bianchi get mad at Canada? I mean, mad in front of the cameras? I’m sure Marussia sent the bill to Chilton.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          30th August 2014, 1:28

          Yeah but Marussia aren’t fighting for a world title.
          You’re comparing apples and oranges.

          1. Are backmarkers less worthy than front runners?

          2. That and there are a lot less camera’s on Bianchi.

    3. No, no real racedriver has ever made drama in the press by calling his rival a “coward” or complained to stewards that he went off track and back again, or caused am avoidable collision causing both damage/retire or tell the officials to stop a race because he’s getting caught to quickly amd then make sure to remind them to count a lap bac so because that’s the rules.

      * if you hadn’t noticed these are all Prost-Senna examples

      1. So you think all f1 drivers are not “real racedrivers”? I can’t think of a single driver who hasn’t complained about another doing something wrong on the radio. Can’t think of one complaining about another driver after a race either.

    4. What else were you expecting him to say? Let’s hear it.

      1. I would hope Lewis would say”I accept your apology Nico”
        NOT “we have all made mistakes”

        1. To be honest, I would not accept this kind of apology either. It seemed forced. I don’t think Nico expressed any genuine remorse or empathy, so in my opinion the response from Lewis was OK.

    5. Ross Brawn’s tough hand would sort things out in such situation. Wolff is a businessman, he does not know how to handle such situations, while Lowe is not very strict, he hasn’t grown out of engineer’s guise. Niki has to be the most suitable in these situations but he has only experience of himself as a driver.

      Mercedes need a real boss.

      1. Mark in Florida
        30th August 2014, 0:00

        I wonder if Mercedes thought that Ross Braun was to old fashioned for the new Mercedes F1. They wanted to divide up his position and authority so he said no thanks I’m gone. I bet they wish he was still there now I can’t imagine any of this occurring with Ross in charge. When he told Nico to hold position he did it when Hamilton was given instruction by Toto puppy, I mean Wolf he ignored it. Ross was and still is the Man. Miss you RB.

      2. If Ross was still at merc the cars would finish in conga line in every single race and would be never allowed to race against each other. And if ross (in january/february this year) had decided hamilton is going to win the wdc then rosberg would have to jump out of hamilton’s way every time they are close to each other. And if ross had chosen rosberg then it would be the other way.

        Races would be insanely boring and merc would probably win all the races with the drivers going 1-2 every race and probably finishing 1-2 or 1-3 or 1-4 because of the pitstop adventage of the number 1 driver.

        Ross may be a technical genius and good team leader but in his career he has never allowed his own team mates to race against each other

        I think merc are doing amazing job this season. This is how to provide true equality for both drivers and not some pr nonsense like with rbr, ferrari (last seasons) or mclaren. Letting rosberg and hamilton race has been amazing. Team orders always suck and the less we see them the better.

        1. Mark in Florida
          30th August 2014, 7:55

          You do make some valid points about the racing being exciting and fair. However, when there is an order to the team literally a one and number two driver your strategy as a team is easier to figure out. Ferrari during Schumachers reign crushed the competition with a great car and a great driver. They also used the number two driver strategically during the race to help the number one. I don’t necessarily want to see that same strategy utilized at the start of the year but…..at some point it may be necessary to impose some sort of order so that your driver wins the wdc. Just a comparison of the two types of strategies to think about. If Mercedes throws it away in the end for both their drivers and Daniel wins it they only have themselves to blame.

  5. When Hamilton was reading what the MB PR team posted in his website, he must have been thinking, uhh, what “mistake” did I make? No matter. Let’s move on.

    1. Nico complained Hamilton was defending too harshly in Bahrain. Perhaps they chalked that one up to Hamilton making a mistake? Also Hamilton not listening to the team telling him to set a fast lap in Silverstone qualifying.

      Neither of Hamilton’s “mistakes” cost them points though, so it seem pretty easy to determine which mistakes were worse.

    2. You mean apart from all his previous staments and comments to the media complaining about the team, his team mate etc?

  6. petebaldwin (@)
    29th August 2014, 16:14

    “Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.”

    Not sure about “wrong” but certainly pointless though because Mercedes have already done that for you very publicly! Mercedes didn’t punish Lewis….

    1. Mercedes didn’t punish Lewis because he didn’t do anything wrong (apart from making a drama in the press…)

      At the conclusion of the braking zone, going into the first corner of the chicane, HAM was clearly in front of ROS and therefore had the right to take his normalracing line into the second corner.

      Mind you, taking the racing line is not the same as pushing him wide. HAM didn’t take a wider line than the racing line, he took the racing line.

      ROS had no chance to complete the overtake and the space he was occupying with his front wing was always going to dissapear. He did stir out of it a little but stirred back in again too early and clipped HAM’s rear tire.

      That’s either a very clumpsy misjudgement or it was done with intention. ROS said it was done with intention ie to make a point.

      The FIA deemed the incident as a clumpsy racing incident, not worthy of a penalty. From their role that was a good descission imho although I’ve seen Maldonado get a penalty for similar stuff, so it’s always a bit arbitrary of course amd driver reputation is a factor (ROS always had a good reputation)

      Since ROS said he did it on purpose (ie to make a point) the FIA should punish him imho but they state that they will only reopen the case if they get a formal request to do so from MERC. MERC isn’t going to do that because they want to solve things in-house.

      So, I don’t know what penalty he will get but the fact that MERC find it necessary to punish him and not HAM is pretty self explanitory I would say.

      Note1: I’m no fan of either nor do I favor one over the other.

      Note 2: immagine Pastor or Grosjean 2012 style clipping the race leader’s wing. People would have been all over the guy. Intention or not. I don’t understamd why anyone would take a different stance because a dude was born in the same country as they are or because he’s their fav driver… that’s a bit immature imho

      1. Well– Hamilton knew he was there and closed the apex anyway. He didn’t have to, would have probably won the race if he did the math and let Nico through. On the otherhand, do we want polite racing– after you chap — or actual racing. At the front end this there is really no option except racing between teammates which appears to be frowned upon if it gets real. Ricciardo is awesome (he may be better than Vettel, time will tell) but he still needs a screw up at Merc to make up for the performance disadvantage.

        1. You say HAM knew he was there but he didn’t because it wasn’t ROS’s corner like I said. ROS shouldn’t have been there so HAM trusted him not stupidly being still being there and that’s what he meant when he said that you need to be able to trust drivers in wheel to wheel racing and now ROS he feels he cant trust ROS anymore.

          Between HAM not trusting him and not ruining his own race too much=taking a 29pt lead, I think ROS walks away a big winner from this race. Not a noble one but a winner nevertheless, especially if MERC don’t really punish him.

          Anything less than suspending him for a race or sitting him out in Q2 and 3 won’t get HAM back into this championdhip but I don’t think they’ll do that because it would look very stupid.

          So yeah, a bit of damage for his image but ROS probably doesn’t mind that if it helps him win the DWC

      2. +1 it bothers me too that depending on the driver, depends on the level of outrage. Pastor or Grojean or whoever likely commit similar crashes by clumsy accident & get punished for it, but here Nico does it, the pundits sheepishly class it as a clumsy accident, FIA take no action, yet we all via TV see it as a deliberate action that the driver later confirms, yet fia still take no action.
        The whole sport needs to grow a pair, man up and treat all drivers evenly. It would be better than this your popular so don’t do it again, and your not so have a punitive penalty, attitude we currently see.
        A classic example is ferraris 5 second penalty for being on the grid after the 15 second warning, magnussen’s 20 second penalty for not leaving fernando enough room on the strait & no fia penalty for nico deliberately puncturing Lewis’s tyre.
        We might as well just watch WWE, or maybe WWE got their business model from FIA/F1?

        1. I think NR deliberately stood his ground, not deliberately cut LH’s tire, nor deliberately broke his own wing. It is inaccurate to imply that NR admitted he deliberately cut LH’s tire.

          As to treating drivers differently…that has been going on for years, and is often going to be different for the front runners too. It is far from new that F1 tries to manipulate the show.

          Senna gets pole in a crucial race and Balestre changes the rule on Saturday night and puts him on the dirty side of the track for Sunday to favour fellow Frenchman Prost. And the rest is history. Jacques Villeneuve commits a second yellow flag infraction and gets disqualified for one race, thus bringing the fight to the final race, whereas now that would only cost demerit points and meanwhile MS doesn’t get the 3-race ban at the start of the next season as Mosely had promised, by merely stating MS’s whack on JV was ‘instinctual.’ MS gets a meaningless slap on the wrist instead.

      3. When Rosberg said he didn’t back off “to make a point” what he meant was: In the past Hamilton has always been more aggressive than Rosberg in these kind of situations. That’s not going to be the case in the future. Rosberg sent a message to Hamilton. Don’t defend too hard when I try to pass you and be careful when you try to pass me. I’m not going to back down as we are fighting for the Championship. If we crash you have more to loose than me as I have more points.
        Rosberg indeed proved a point. Hamilton will be a lot more careful when dealing with Rosberg in the future. And that was what Rosberg wanted.

  7. There you have it, the Hamil-tronic 5000, very good for reading/typing robotic messages. I like that people criticize Lewis when he’s being honest and a bit loose-lipped and then complain that all drivers are PR machines. On a side note, why is this message not coming from Rosberg (or at least from both of them), considering that he acknowledged it was his mistake?

    1. Nevermind about Rosberg, i just found his statement.

    2. @gicu

      I totally agree mate, Lewis says his piece with emotion, its not always right, but he is not the PR machine of most of them!!
      (Both our Aussies are not either, Mark maybe said too much:)

      If you go “Old School” :

      Prost wanted to “punch Ayrton in the face”- Germany 1991
      Ayrton said “see what happens” in response to above
      Mansell went Senna in the pits and grabbed him by the throat (Belgium 87 maybe)
      Senna did punch Eddie Irvive
      Piquet cant kick in Germany 1982
      Schu stormed the pits (Mika??) and wanted to throw down!

      Long story short (this wont happen now!!) – we don’t want our drivers fist fighting each other, but we dont them losing their passion either!! Maybe LH V NR ok :)

      1. I really like to root for people who really show emotion. Mark delivering the PR-friendly line while slamming the glass of water on the table in the interview room was really epic.

        Schumacher wanted to fight Coulthard after hitting him from behind while trying to lap him in the rain. (1998 I think)

        1. Yes stupidly COU slowed down on the racing line when being lapped. In poor visibility and longer breaking distance, SCHU had no chance and retired from the lead (if I remember it correctly) because of it.

          COU has since admitted that what he did was stupid on multiple occasions. That shotof Schumi amgerly walking over to the McLaren pitbox while taking off his helmet was epic haha

          1. to cou slowed down and moved to the side I think but shu thought he just slowed down and went for the overtaking line or a wide version of the racing line and hit him. not sure though, you might be right

          2. I don’t think Schumacher saw him at all until it was too late.

          3. The following is from memory so some detail might be wrong. Sorry in advance.

            Coulthard slowed and stayed on the racing line o help Mika.
            At the start of the race, Coulthard aqua-planed his car and hit the wall sideways and rebounded back into traffic causing 13 cars pile with only Irvine hurting his knee as he lept off the car.

            After a red flag, they restarted and this time Mikka was span out by Schumacher (the only two fighting for the Championship in 1998) and Coulthard car developed a problem and had to pit and came back 4 laps behind for “testing” basically.

            Later in the race, MSc was leading comfortably from Hill (in Jordan), but as soon as Michael came up to lap Coulthard, Coulthard sped up and kept MSc behind from 2 laps or so which prompted Jean Todd to walk to the McLaren garage and ask Ron Dennis what is his driver doing, which resulted in Ron asking Coulthard to slow down and let Michael through and JT telling MSc that Coulthard had the instruction BUT BUT BUT as soon as MSc came to lap Coulthard, Coulthard sped up along the sweeping curve (don’t remember names) and then slowed down on the straight on the RACING LINE and due to poor visibility (no rain lights then) from rain spray, Michael didn’t see him until a metre or two to go and couldn’t avoid hitting him so hard that the the Ferrari wheel flew upwards and both drivers drove back to the pits for retirement [very exciting seeing a 3-wheel Ferrari being driven in anger by MSc] and then Michael went storming into the McLaren garage accusing Coulthard on trying to kill him with gloves off :)

            This deprived MSc the 10 points and gave Hill a win in Jordan despite his team mate (Ralf Schumacher) was faster then him in the sister car but not allowed to pass by Eddie Jordan orders.

            The title went to the wire with Michael leading by 4 points (a win give 10 points, 2nd 6pt, 3 4pt, and so on) and Michael stalled his engine on the grid in pole position and had to start from the back of the grid and Mikka was effectively the pole sitter.

            Michael stormed the field from the back but when coming to Hill, Hill had his revenge for 1994 and kept Michael with the most dirty blocking ever (effectively Hill saying if you dare to pass I’ll crash you out of the championship), so MSc stayed behind him for 12 laps and over took him in the pits.

            Michael now, reached 4th with Mikka leading, with only his team mate Irvine and his brother between them, only to get a puncture which ruined his race and the rest is history …

            To me, the 1988 season was the best of what F1 had to offer in the period 1994-2014 (with GP2 PC game too) and Spa 98 was the best race that year with a race start that Murray Walker described live then as “Ohhh nooo, this is the WORST start to a Grand Prix I have EVERrrr seen”.

            Rest in peace real F1.

  8. Great. Now can we all move on and look forward to Monza?

    1. It’s about time, really. Can’t believe this whole thing had to be blown up this much.

  9. “Nico [Rosberg] and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.”

    Those subtleties of Lewis statement is the more interesting thing that came out from this meeting; Lewis accepting his own mistakes makes me wonder that Nico´s actions at track and his post statement about “to prove a point”, worked really well.

    I guess that the team was obligated to review all past track hostilities between both drivers, and Lewis must have to step back a little.

    So, Nico came out from this meeting as the real winner – even with Mercedes pantomime about “disciplinary measures” towards him.

    1. @becken-lima Technically he never said his mistake was an on-track mistake, could be that the mistake he is talking about was the pointing of the finger.

    2. He came with a 29 points lead. I think his stock has hit a new low within the team. Plus he still will need to regain fans (or part of them) sympathy. I’m expecting a less aggressive Nico at Monza.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th August 2014, 20:40

        @jcost – I don’t know, that championship is getting closer and closer and he’s a full race ahead. Nico is going to be fighting for the championship and he knows he has a good chance of winning it after Spa. After dropping to P3 on lap 1 what happened on lap 2 was a dream come true for him.

        1. @freelittlebirds Sure. As I said, Nico has a 29 points advantage and is better placed than anyone to win this title but another fact is, Nico has infuriated the team with his clumsy move and he knows that his reputation cannot afford another controversy, having that advantage there’s no need for crazy moves so we should see a calmer driver at Monza next weekend.

        2. Dropping to P3 on lap 1 was irrelevant, on lap 2 he was already close enough to Hamilton to collide. That race could have gone either way, I think.

  10. That’s one nice piece of the very few sensible statements I’ve ever read from Lewis (or his PR for that matters).

    Maybe that’s bad news for all the people up there wanting drama and blood, sweat and tears, shards of carbon fibre and smoke from engine covers. But that’s good news for the team for sure, and there are hundreds of people working their … out day and night. And they don’t want to see their drivers crashing out in the first laps because of their childish emotions. We’ve become accustomed to the fact that F1 is something more than a playground so it’s good to know that the boys are finally out of the sandbox.

  11. It’s pretty sad to see the media portraying them as Senna and Prost because they are two mediocre drivers at best especially Hamilton who he is getting beaten by Rosberg who we all know got beaten by Webber in 2006 and also a certain 43 year old Michael Schumacher beat Nico on pure pace in 2012.

    1. Wasnt 2006 the year Di Resta beat Vettel to the championship?

    2. A lot of drivers get beaten by their more experienced team mates when in their rookie year- Raikkonen by Heidfeld, Schumacher by Piquet, Mansell by de Angelis etc.

    3. I know right how must that Alonso feel eh beaten by a rookie?. People who say Ham was favourd should watch the start of the year before Alo was crying Ham was on the pace from day 1.

  12. All these statements are meaningless until the next race and Lewis must decide whether to chop across the front of another car, or nico has to decide that he’s got to mask a speed deficit with a lunge.

    1. Taking the racing line is never in question. That’s always allowed even I you push someone off the track. Instead, it will be up to Nico to decide up front if he can make the overtake stick or not. Going by recent experiences of his “overtaking”, the answer will invariably be “no”.

  13. It’s very strange.

  14. Ok Lewis it’s good you’ve admitted you make mistakes too. Put it behind and show us your usual slick overtaking moves and talk on the track. We still wanna see you and Nico or whoever race wheel to wheel, you owe us that. Monza is just a sniff away. Bring it on.

  15. Lewis did not refuse team orders. He very clearly said he would not hold him up if he was close enough to overtake but he would not slow for Nico.
    Toto and the team even acknowledged Lewis did & said the right thing, but the team said the wrong thing to Nico giving Nico the wrong expectation.
    click bait

  16. It reminds me of Canada 2011 when Lewis said “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time”. He didn’t believe that, as we heard later with the radio when he’d said “Jenson put me in the wall”.

    He’s in a battle for the hearts and minds of the team, and this is part of it. They know he hasn’t made any mistakes of the kind he’s referring to.

    This is Mr Nice Guy, so that if they touch again, it’s Rosberg’s fault. Which it probably will be IMO.

  17. I really dislike this kind of propaganda. It’s intellectual dishonest. This “we’re both guilty, and we won’t do it again, we promise” is for children! And they are men, not children. Probably next time Toto will call their parents…
    Go race you both, and stop this non sense.

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