Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Hamilton says he “would have done the same” as Vettel

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he would have done the same as Sebastian Vettel did in the incident which cost the Ferrari driver victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel went off the track while under pressure from Hamilton and was penalised after he rejoined the track in front of Hamilton, forcing the Mercedes driver to back off. He was given a five-second penalty which handed victory to Hamilton.

“I watched the replay, it was obviously very close,” said Hamilton. “What I can say is that if I was in the lead and I made a mistake and went wide I probably would have done the same thing because it happened so quick and you’re just trying to hold your position.

“When I say I would do the same, I would try to squeeze him too. That’s ultimately what happened.”

Vettel criticised the rule under which he was punished, but Hamilton believes it is justified: “Say you didn’t have that rule. I would have kept it lit and we would have crashed. So one way or not it was going to go badly.”

Hamilton said he believes Vettel’s attempt to stop him from getting past was instinctive. “As a driver, things go wrong you’re like ‘oh shoot’ and you try and squeeze so that you don’t lose a position.

“It’s a natural instinct that you have. You’re not going to go ‘actually I better pull to the left and let everybody go by’. He did block me but unfortunately he went off-track and the way the rules are that’s how it’s described.”

“Seb drove a great race,” Hamilton added. “Except for his little off, he did a great job. Ferrari were so strong this weekend. A real formidable force.

“I think we were very fortunate to be in the battle with them because they genuinely could have had a one-two today if they had a front row, for example. But luckily I was able to stop that.”

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Keith Collantine
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64 comments on “Hamilton says he “would have done the same” as Vettel”

  1. Hamilton says he “would have done the same” as Vettel

    Perhaps but I’m thinking Hamilton would not have gotten into the situation to begin with. Vettel made another unforced error. Hamilton I think is a better driver when the pressure is on.

    1. Never make mistakes under pressure, like when he missed the hairpin like 5 times yestersay. Maybe it’s because he never has to face pressure with his car, and when he does he’s handed the win anyway.

    2. Richard Coope
      10th June 2019, 9:21

      Hamilton locked up his inside wheel several times at the hairpin. He lost time and then worked to catch up again.

      He could do this because he was behind. If the positions were reversed the lock ups would have meant an opportunity for the driver behind.

    3. @johnrkh
      Hamilton made like 4 unforced errors in this race alone. I lost count of the number of times he messed up the hairpin.

      1. None of which lost him a position. It was worth the risk to get close enough for the opportunity to pass

        1. He was losing quite a lot of time everytime he locked the brakes.

          1. and gaining it everywhere else, which resulted in hotter brakes by following Vettel closely, which meant brakes to hot when arriving at braking event at hairpin.The gains outweighed the loses.

      2. LOL
        These are not the same, they are not exactly errors either. It is just a lock…
        and he didn’t leave the track even once… or hamper anyone.

      3. How many times did hamilton go off the track? Which is actually more damaging: Going off the track as a result of your own mistake when a car behind has only one chance to pass you and that is driver mistake. Or having small brake lockups that cost you couple of tenths each time when you follow other car? Hamilton’s errors were tiny and meaningless where the only cost was that his overtake attempt possibility was postponed. And vettel made those brake lockups too. Whereas vettel’s mistake was huge and cost him the win. Vettel cracked under pressure and lost the win whereas hamilton made tiny recoverable errors that amounted to nothing but had a chance of producing an overtaking attempt.

        In the end the difference between vettel’s and hamiltons erros is in the size of the risk. Hamilton’s mistakes were harmless calculated risks with huge payout if they worked. Brake later and get closer. Or lock brakes and lose tenths and try again later. Vettel’s mistake was pure driver error caused by not being able to handle pressure. He pushed too hard when the risk was bigger than the payout. Being couple of tenths faster through that corner is not worth the risk if you lose your position if you don’t get the corner right. Hamilton’s errors happened in a corner where it was safe to make those mistakes. Vettel’s mistake happened in a corner with no room for error.

    4. Perhaps… but he’s not racing a Ferrari, so it’s a wild guess. A Ferrari that didn’t look that good anymore when switched to Hards.

    5. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
      10th June 2019, 10:05

      Hamilton locked his brakes like 4 times. He didn’t drive a perfect race.

      1. Yes, you are right, When you follow a car too closely your brakes get hot and go long. Hamilton should have just cruised 2s behind Seb and he wouldn’t have hot brakes and locked up.

        Its almost as though Hamilton sacrificed time at the hairpin to gain time and pressurize Seb around the rest of the lap? I noticed Max made the same mistake, he was running hot, but instead of cooling the brakes and losing a few positions, he decided to overdrive, manage the lock ups, and finish in 5th. Big mistake.

      2. lmao the armchair racers in here are a joke.

        If you think a lockup followed by GOOD cadence braking to negate and protect the tyre is the same as binning it off the road it’s obvious you have never driven anything in anger in real life.


    6. LH in general has had far superior machinery to race with and thus doesn’t need to push the car to the limit. Less risks equals less mistakes.

      Not saying he isn’t a hell of a driver but based on the last 5-6 years LH made less mistakes then others because he didn’t need to drive on the limit as much as others.

      1. MCBosch

        based on the last 5-6 years LH made less mistakes then others because he didn’t need to drive on the limit as much as others.

        i think you didnt watch ham/ros fights? both made mistakes, and usually more than ever ros cracked under pressure in the same machinery… dont talk non-sense, ros due to pressure, he left the sport all together after winning the miracle wdc thanx to his hardwork and some unfortunate failures that happened to ham’s car!

  2. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    10th June 2019, 9:07

    Even freaking Jacques Villeuneve didn’t like the decision and he is the guy with the controversial opinion. Any racing driver would do the same.

    1. Adelaide 1994

      1. LOL!! indeed ;-)

  3. Just ask stewards what would they do, park their car ?
    Or wait until all other cars pass through ? Crazy and shame

  4. All Hamilton is saying is “Vettel’s squeeze was deliberate”

    1. @blik
      Ha !! Yeah, my thoughts too.
      There was nothing deliberate from Vettel to squeeze. The only intention he had, if any, was to regain control of his car and get back on to the track.
      This is an unfortunate incident or as i mentioned in another article today, a ‘fia’sco. :-P

      1. @blik @webtel

        Remember this is his best chance of a win since Belgium last year. He’s already under the microscope for the number of points-costing blunders this past year. The last thing he wants is another error costing him the win on track (flashbacks of Hockenheim, perhaps?)

        So, whilst it was not deliberate in a sense of looking to take Lewis out of the race, it could easily have been deliberate in the sense of trying to minimize the cost of his error in an attempt to maintain position (which I believe is what Lewis is essentially alluding to).

      2. You don’t know that at all. Vettel is a good driver and his positioning of the car suggests that he wanted to make it difficult for HAM to pass.

        Had he stayed to the left near the left wall, he would have been safe and had more momentum to continue on with the race (and no steering/sliding necessary). Instead VET opted to re-enter the track asap and angled onto the racing line forcing HAM’s evasive action.

    2. Yep, he found a really clever way to say it too didn’t he @blik, @webtel – he’s not saying Vettel was wrong to do so, but he’s saying he did it. I happen to think he might be quite right, and also that Vettel had to, otherwise he would have certainly lost the race. But, currently you can then expect a penalty, that’s the way it is.

      1. that Vettel had to

        That in essence is what the sport is about. no penalty for that. But his methods happen to be unsafe.

        1. What is the sport about? Making mistakes and getting away with it by being brutal? Yes, sometimes, but then people complain when some drivers do that; Is the sport, at the moment, about trying to push your opponent into a mistake so you can overtake (unless you can do the easier DRS route?), yes, to that I would agree.

          1. @bosyber

            about trying to push your opponent into a mistake so you can overtake

            Correct. We can extend this analogy to all sports. Essentially, you try to win over your opponents by being better or by inducing an error which leads to his fall and your rise.
            That said, if you make an error, you eventually end up paying a price. No one likes to see something brutal being done on purpose and get away. I think it is the interpretation of the magnitude (brutality) that puts doubts in our mind. We may or may not agree with that.

          2. Well said @webtel, “we may or may not agree with that” yep, seems reasonable, and sensible.

        2. @bosyber
          then we could in theory should approve Adelaide 1994, and cheer for disgusting behaviours to follow… because you know you should win however means necessary… sighs…

          1. @mysticus did your name influence your thinking somehow, bc. it’s a mystery where you get that from my posts; Hamilton basically said, as have others, ‘yeah, racing instinct would make me do so too’ but then he indicated it would have to be penalised (or lead to a crash the guy who squeezed would be blamed for); In my opinion, a lot of these rules started to come in when we (and the stewards) had clear pictures and telemetry of the type of on the edge and over driving Schumacher did, and people got upset and asked for penalties for that, esp. as others followed his lead. Before a crash could be fatal, so you’d avoid it, but now it is just a risk of not finishing, and so the drivers started calculating that in.

          2. @bosyber i said nothing contrary to what you said, i just asserted the same thing, because a lot of armchair pros keep stating penalty was not necessary… if you dont punish these kind of incidents, people will push the boundaries until inevitable happens… thats what i said… because versatappen rule happened bcoz he was pushing the boundaries… schumi rules happened because he too was doing the same… so something has to be done to stop people doing these “so called *mistakes*” noone wants to hit one another on purpose obviously, but penalties are there to make people pay more attention to make less mistakes like those!

          3. @mysticus ah, I see. Yeah, it’s clear that these rules weren’t made in a vacuum, and often drivers (and commentators, viewers) have asked for clarity on what is and what isn’t allowed. I do think it might be useful to check whether good racing can be regulated better, now that we have these rules, but I doubt we will have completely relaxed rules, because, eh, well, as we saw in Canada, according to the stewards report, drivers will abuse them to the allowed limit.

          4. @bosyber
            “drivers will abuse them to the allowed limit” exactly my point… otherwise they will just sing the same song

            oooops i did it again… oh baby baby….

            and kiss on the cheek for a sorry…

  5. “Say you didn’t have that rule. I would have kept it lit and we would have crashed. So one way or not it was going to go badly.”


  6. F1oSaurus (@)
    10th June 2019, 10:01

    they genuinely could have had a one-two today if they had a front row, for example. But luckily I was able to stop that

    They couldn’t though because only one car can get the tow just like Hamilton got the tow from Bottas.

  7. Firstly I am a DR fan so I am partial. To all those people that a spreading dribble about Seb keeping the boot in it over the grass and across the track are simply making up stories. I suggest you re-watch the onboard from the below link.

    He did not keep his foot in it and you can clearly hear that from the engine and can see that on the rev LED’s on the steering wheel. He starts feeding in the power at the 24 second mark ;)

    He simply was out of control and not much more he could have done. Comparing this to MV at Sazuka is just silly. The minimum apex speed is higher and the track profile is completely different and grass also reacts differently to AstroTurf. A silly penalty and that is why many ex-racers in the know have voiced up.

    1. @ming-mong Yup. What you said. Sometimes I think it would be better for Lewis if he just didn’t comment in situations like this because everything he has said about this penalty call sounds as if he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He should simply have said that Vettel did the best he could in that situation but it is the stewards who decide whether or not to impose the penalty.

      Actually, the interim Race Director should never get beyond interim because he had the authority under the regulations to have simply ordered Seb to give the position to Lewis and continue racing. This was a MASSIVE FAILURE by the Race Director who instead ended the race many laps short of the distance.

      It was Austria 2002 where Schumacher pulled Barrichello to the top step of the podium. Barrichello, Schumacher and Ferrari were fined one million U.S. dollars for the failure to observe Article 170 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations concerning the podium ceremony, according to Wikipedia.

      1. @gwbridge“Actually, the interim Race Director should never get beyond interim because he had the authority under the regulations to have simply ordered Seb to give the position to Lewis and continue racing. This was a MASSIVE FAILURE by the Race Director who instead ended the race many laps short of the distance.”

        If any penalty was to be given I agree with that. At lease it gave him the opportunity to make up for his mistake and kept the race alive for viewers. I thought at the time Ferrari might order this just in case a penalty was given however I am unsure about the rules because even if Seb did do this could he also receive the same 5 second penalty on top which would have been a double blow?

        1. Since Vettel at that point was a bit slower than Hamilton, I doubt he would have complied, leading to a 5s penalty in the end (or more). I do agree that would have been smarter from the stewards, as it would have clearly put the onus on Vettel, but, not sure I’d like the stewards to be ‘smart’ over ‘as sensible, correct and impartial as possible’ @ming-mong, @gwbridge; Vettel did make the mistake, and stewards think he could have done more to avoid squeezing Hamilton. Hamilton basically says he agrees, but still would have done it, like Vettel did, because to not do so would have lost him the race; I am not sure what’s bad about saying that?

          1. I think some squeezing is part of this particular kind of racing. If one wants to see pure machine+driver racing, one could switch to dragsters, rallye etc. In that kind of racing the drivers don’t bother one another. It’s just man+machine and the winner is the guy with the best time(s). VET did not squeeze HAM that much, he also did not move multiple times from a side to another. Also, the stewards said VET joined the track in a dangerous way… Well, the racing line and HAM were on the other side of the track. So, I don’t think he joined the track in a dangerous manner because nobody was supposed to come on that certain patch of tarmac where VET re-entered the track. He didn’t rejoin the track directly on the racing line. So, he was already on-track when he decided to squeeze HAM. Then, he simply retook the racing line and defended his position. Blocking the opponent (and the racing line) 1 time in a race (if it’s not really exaggerated) I think is fair enough in order to dedend position. HAM had the inside of the corner to his disposal. A lot of fans complain about DRS, yet they demand from drivers to give up their position to a faster car without any fight, as if it’s a dragster race. Why complain about DRS then if overtaking is all about speed difference?!

          2. @bosyber
            situation here was not mexico 2016, so race director would not go for “gaining advantage” as there was more serious issue of “unsafe re-entry, and forcing a competitor/driver off track by not leaving space” which precedes any gains due to safety which comes first!

          3. @bosyber this is for those uninformed commenters who doesnt know basic knowledge… hard racing allows squeezing drivers out, as long as you do it within rules aka when you are following your racing line and someone tries to overtake you in a racing line within corners/chicanes you are allowed to keep your line (not changing course of course to purely squeeze someone out!) and competitor has nowhere else to go but avoid contact! every single driver does it correctly in corners… the uninformed commenters fails to see is vettel was not on racing line, he made mistake and went off course, but chose to end up on the racing line out of a corner in an unsafe way in an attempt to instinctively block/cover the mistake…

    2. To me it looked like he’d regained control while there was still just more than a car’s width, but then allowed himself to continue on his trajectory towards the wall. But it’s hard to say without access to full quality and synchronised replays and telemetry. But I assume the stewards had that and made their judgement on the basis of it.

      1. Thats exactly what the stewards are saying and that the cctv and telemetry backs that up.

      2. Easy to say when watching it in slow motion.

        I’m not a racing driver, but I’ve had my share of “scares” on dirt roads and on my dirt bike; once you regain control you need a moment to feel the car/bike settle before your next input; otherwise that next input could have unpredictable results.

        Maybe he could’ve given more room, but we don’t know what the feeling of the car was at that exact moment. Maybe it was still unsettled as he bounced over the kerb and any earlier attempt to steer could’ve sent him into a spin (into the wall resulting in a crash with Hamilton).

  8. “Probably”

    One important word changing the meaning of the phrase. Of course it would have sounded less clickbaity…

  9. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
    10th June 2019, 10:45

    Funny to think that the driver who won the race did not lead a single lap! Can anyone remember any other occasions where the race winner changed due to a penalty? Spa 2008 is the last incident I can think of, but have there been other incidents before then?

    1. I think he did lead for two laps after Vettel pitted.

    2. I think I read that that happened to Damon Hill at some point in 1994

  10. I don’t know whats up with this site this week however two major articles have been removed from the front page which were the articles on “$175 million dollar cap” & “Hamilton confirmed as winner despite Ferrari plan to appeal” and when you do open them from New On Racefans links on the RHS a lot of comments have been removed.

    I think this site really needs an upgrade & refresh. It lags in up to date functionality.

  11. I think Hamilton might change his mind about doing the same when he gets the telemetry the stewards had

    1. @riptide Thanks for the link. It just confirms what Hamilton said though. The input right after Vettel regained control was a deliberate attempt to block. Hence the penalty (and Hamilton being correct that it was more than just out of control momentum).

    2. @riptide, this is in my opinion a problem though, we now have the situation that the stewards are making decisions based on evedince that no one gets to see.

      The official statement from the stewards should, in my opinion, include all video footage used to make the decision, and timestamped explanations of what the stewards are thinking.

      This would (partially) solve the controversiality of some decisions but also help against the stewards “no accountability” situation.

      1. @omega I’ll repeat a point made earlier: people complain about F1 being over-regulated, but its precisely this kind of failure to accept stewarding decisions that means the rules have to become more specific and more rigidly applied, to the letter, to try to ensure impartiality! The teams question everything. Ferrari have appealed this decision. And the knock-on effect? More regulation, not less.

        The takeaway: Vettel made a mistake that on most circuits would have cost him the race lead and win. And in this case too, if only after (fair) adjudication. He should have let Hamilton by and then tried to regain the position. But as Hamilton (kindly) pointed out, it’s a racing incident not to do that.

        1. *instinct (not incident)

          1. if the rules allow racing like that, than disgusting wdc wins will happen which i think some people will be ok with as long as battle won with whatever necessary done…

  12. If it is the instinct and the rules are good, does it mean that it’s fair to punish drivers for instinct reactions? Isn’t it what “racing incidents” are about?

  13. Shiahie Arrington
    10th June 2019, 14:13

    He should have tried to to stay left and straight making sure LH had full car space , video show SV turning right instead of left and straight making room..i agrer with the decision

  14. if this is d case, then why creeping for penalty.. u can ignore this as racing incident.

  15. Michael Damian
    10th June 2019, 16:17

    Hamilton should have refrained from taking the victory.

    Not due to arguments that grass slows down, Vettel, no way to go, made it through without endangering him latter Hamilton should have confirmed in the interview.

    It’d have been about sportsmanship, fairness, size which had earned him a place in the motor universe. Figures of a boring championship he will win anyway will be forgotten soon.

    1. You’re a dreamer. HAM accepted a win not only he didn’t deserve but also he didn’t need, also a win he had the chance to pay back yet he didn’t. Some still insist on remembering us of 2002 Austria although (MS gave back the win to Barrichello) we have a much fresher case on the platter.

      1. Michael Damian
        10th June 2019, 18:56

        “You’re a dreamer.”
        Right, man!

        Also, I am so sick of talented sport celebs talking about high virtues in ads or else they don’t stick to either in F1 or on a football pitch. No role models for things above
        sport and money which they so easily could afford though.

        Take care.

      2. @mg1982 right dreamer, go cheer for 1994 Australian Grand Prix win… Michael deserved it… Hill should have backed out because you know MS was wrestling his car! go figure genius!

  16. He is simply saying that he would do the same, and probably would get a penalty for it.
    The decision is absolutely correct, Vettel regains control and blocks Hamilton. Then again, I would not give a penalty for the sport itself and because i changes nothing on the championship, but the decision is correct.

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