Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2018

Hamilton: Near-miss with Vettel was a “rookie error”

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton admits he made a “rookie error” when he damaged a set of tyres while trying to avoid Sebastian Vettel in second practice

What they say

Hamilton explained his near-miss with his championship rival:

Basically I let the guys past and then they both backed off, they were going quite slow and I was trying to recover ground. I basically had my brake balance too far forward.

And Sebastian tried to speed up and then I locked up and I was going to hit so I had to shove to the left to avoid him and killed my tyre. Kind of a rookie error for myself but it doesn’t happen too often.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is F1 putting too much emphasis on aesthetics with its 2021 car concept?

I like to think that whatever happens on an F1 car is functional and adds performance, and the beauty of an open-wheel single-seater racing car is a subjective thing if there ever was one, so pursuing that as a goal on its own seems weird. They only became beautiful for us because they were functional in the first place.
Andrey Baydin (@Minilemm)

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 2001 Alessandro Zanardi survived an appallingly violent crash with Alex Tagliani in a CART race at the Lausitzring, but lost both his legs

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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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  • 32 comments on “Hamilton: Near-miss with Vettel was a “rookie error””

    1. So much for those saying it was Vettel’s fault…

      1. So much for referring to the right incident ;P

        1. My comment was in reference to the many arguments made yesterday that Seb was intentionally speeding up & slowing down to impede Lewis & caused his lockup. Mystic one accosted me about it, questioning my eyesight because I felt Lewis was at fault.

          1. The fact that Lewis takes the blaim doesn’t rule out Gamesmanship by Vettel. By taking the blaim Lewis takes that initiative away from Vettel. Now Vettel is thinking what else can he do to get to Hamilton.

            (If Hamilton wanted to play dirty he could have held up Vettel when he went out on his second qualifying run amids a que of other cars. )

    2. Typical Lewis mind games. I wonder if he really does these things on purpose. Maybe that is his secret weapon to winning?

      1. @krichelle

        What mind games…What are you talking about? Seems a straightforward case of fessing up.

      2. This is the kind of cynicism and reflexive negativity that make F1 fandom exasperating and sour.

        1. c̶y̶n̶i̶c̶i̶s̶m̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶l̶e̶x̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶g̶a̶t̶i̶v̶i̶t̶y̶ baseless hatred of Lewis Hamilton

          There. FTFY.

          1. @thepostalserviceisbroke I got it right the first time. The hate goes every which way. I’m sick of seeing Lewis get it, I’m sick of seeing Seb get it. I’m even sick of seeing Stroll get it. People want to talk about their quality as drivers, fine. But all this psychoanalyzing is baseless projection and tribalistic hate mongering. It’s garbage and seriously tiresome.

      3. Rosberg got in his head 2016.

        1. If that is true, hopefully it gives you a tiny bit of pleasure still, anon.

    3. I agree 100% with the COD. For better or for worse, F1 cars have always looked the way they do because the designers came up with plans that exploited the existing rules to build a car to be as quick as possible. Aside from liveries, the car’s looks weren’t contrived, they basically just happened. F1 should leave the Speed Racer stuff to FE.

      1. I’m with you. F1 cars have always been form-follows-function propositions. Oftentimes the interpretations of the formula look great; other times they look a little silly. My opinion on the looks no matter how strong initially always softens once they start racing. Case in point: I don’t even see the halo on these cars anymore. As long as the cars are fast, the tech is cutting edge & the racing is good, I don’t care *too much* what they look like.

    4. This isn’t difficult, Liberty. We mostly don’t care how the cars look. We mostly don’t care about fan fairs, Bruno Mars concerts or the color of Sebastian Vettel’s underwear. We want good, close racing in fast cars with great drivers behind the wheel. And we’d really like the cars to sound like cars and not lawn equipment. That’s all we want. Why, oh why, is that so hard?

    5. Lewis has started the mind games. Sometimes it is better to keep things to yourself. Imagine a scenario that Lewis does a similar mistake in FP3 or Q then what?

      It was a mistake, it happened, it cost valuable time to Seb, now we move on from that.

      1. What the hell are you on about?

        1. What do you mean?

        2. Yeah I apologize my comment is completely off.

          1. blinded by your own Hamilton hate there @panagiotism-papatheodorou haha. Just brilliant. Remember “sometimes it’s better to keep things to yourself” – take your own advice, this was clearly one of those times.

    6. How exactly was his brake balance set ”too forward” in this case? Was it something like 62.0, 65.0, or 70.0?
      – Regarding the COTD: No, I don’t think so, but I couldn’t care less about the aesthetics-aspect of the cars as long as the intended target indeed were to be achieved, which, in the end, is all that matters.
      – BTW, still three more years till the 20th (next circular) anniversary of Zanardi’s life-threatening crash.

    7. The gentleman’s agreement wasn’t about letting it go, but about not protesting after the race.
      A gentleman Renault would have (say they will) protested before the race, the second they spotted the illegal floor.

      1. If Renault protested before the race and Haas hadn’t performed well then they’d have been seen as a bully. Renault protested the car that scored points, and, if I’m right, increased their points tally by two points, so I guess one could argue there was a benefit to them. Is that wrong? I don’t think so, any of the teams that scored less points than Grosjean could have protested. It just happened to be Renault. Maybe it wasn’t them that discovered the illegality, maybe it was another team that had scored more points than Haas, so they didn’t want to be seen as “the bully”, but didn’t think it was right that a team like Renault should be disadvantaged by Haas’ non-compliance with the rules. That is an important point too: non-compliance with the rules usually means a team gains and advantage. I don’t know if that applies to this case, but it usually does mean that.
        As I think about it, the pressure on the leading teams to make sure they comply with the rules increases with their points tally. For example, if Hamilton’s car and Bottas’ car were found to have not complied with this rule then if Renault or Haas had protested against them both that would be 40 points lost. If Haas want to win a WCC then they need to expect teams to protest their car. How would Renault have fared if they protested against Mercedes, Ferrari, Force India2, or Red Bull? They’d have egg on their face! If, on the other hand, they were successful in a protest against Mercedes then Mercedes would have had 40 less points at the end of this year, which might be enough to loose the Constructors’ Championship.

      2. @coldfly Renault only got the evidence they needed to protest with on the pre-race grid (when they photographed the floor), making a pre-race protest impracticable (stewards are too busy during the race to entertain protests). If they’d protested before getting the photo, they would have run the risk of Haas having had a legal floor all around and making Renault look silly at best. If they’d got the photo and merely “talked” to the FIA after the race, they would probably have been instructed to formalise it into a protest or let it go (depending on whether the conversation happened within the hour allotted for post-race protesting).

        Post-race protesting really was the only way to maintain the integrity of the championship, especially given that legitimately-competing cars were about to lose out to it.

    8. Seems reading is a fading art.

    9. I think the title of this article misleads some who dont bother to read the details, to think Ham was referring to Vettel’s brash with the wall, but infact he (Ham) was referring to his own lock up. It shows how much bias people have against Lewis though. Sad.

      1. Yeah, the title might be read by some that Lewis is criticizing Vettel crash/brush into the wall when which it is a complete different situation with Lewis owning to a mistake.

        1. Given Keith’s previous headlines that misunderstanding is definitely intentional.

          1. Rubbish. There is nothing wrong with that headline, and the sad bit is from those constantly criticizing Keith. It’s clearly says Near miss ‘with’ Vettel not ‘by’ Vettel. Anybody misinterpreting that, just wants to find things with which to criticize Keith. And I for one expected some sort of mention of that lockup, for what a buzz there would have been had he taken Vettel and himself out of practice with a collision.

        2. How is “Near-miss with Vettel” misleading when Vettel ‘hit’ the wall? Has the headline been altered since the article went online?

      2. I didn’t see the incident, and the headline did have me thinking that Hamilton was having a go at Vettel. But as I usually do, I went on to actually read the article.

    10. The concept is interesting, but the rules that will be written will not determine looks but put restrictions on technology and particular solutions. Then the designers look at these rules and start finding loopholes. I find it very likely that the actual cars end up looking different. After all, no-one in FIA (with exception of the Spanish inquisition) expected “the finger” :-).

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