Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Hockenheimring, 2019

Leclerc “surprised” by fan video showing Hamilton going off at his crash scene

2019 German Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc said he was “surprised” by a video shot by a fan which revealed how Lewis Hamilton went off close to where he was walking back from his stricken Ferrari during the German Grand Prix.

Leclerc and Hamilton crashed at turn 16 within a minute of each other when rain fell during the race. Both had switched to slick tyres. By the time Hamilton arrived at the corner, Leclerc was walking away from his Ferrari and the Safety Car had been deployed.

“I saw a video from the grandstand which surprised me because I had absolutely no idea that Lewis had gone off while I was in the gravel there and while I was actually walking in the gravel,” said Leclerc.

“I think he was aware on the radio that I was out in the last two corners. But it had been raining on that lap in these two last corners so on slicks it was very, very tricky so not much we could have done or anyone could have done better there.”

Leclerc said there was little he could have done to prevent his crash because of the increase in rain at the corner. “Of course if I go back in the car you’re always trying to push the limits,” he said.

“Nobody was aware that it was actually raining more in the last sector. So I arrived there with the slicks and I was just surprised by how much less grip there was compared to the lap before.

“It’s one of those situations where it’s quite difficult to know what you could have done better. That’s it.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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25 comments on “Leclerc “surprised” by fan video showing Hamilton going off at his crash scene”

  1. Stephen Farrall
    1st August 2019, 18:26

    Surely he should have got over the tyre wall straight away, not walked away in the gravel.

  2. it was fairly dangerous for him to walk away on the inside of the tire barriers. When I saw the video it gave me the creeps and instantly remembered me of the tragic accident of Charles’ friend Jules Bianchi. Sure, the speed at Hockenheim was much lower, but it doesn’t take much for a horrible incident.

  3. Amazing that Hamilton got away with that after what happened to Bianchi.

    1. And what precisely HAM did wrong to relate to that incident?

      1. to be related*

        1. He didn’t slow down enough presumably. I’m not sure what flags were showing though. Do you actually have to slow down a certain amount behind the safety car?

          1. Yes, under the SC (which they were at the time) you must comply to the delta, something that nearly got him punished because he was matching the delta a lap down to the others despite in the lead because of the crash, IIRC. So, unless there is something I’m missing, he absolutely did nothing wrong apart from the shenanigans at the pit entry which he was duly penalised for. 🤔

          2. If you watch the video Ham and the car in front and behind him, are all to delta.

          3. @riptide
            And what about being able to stop within sight so you dont smash into the accident that caused the safetycar?
            You are not driving safely if you crash, its very simple.

          4. Michael Ward
            2nd August 2019, 4:08

            There is more then one rule in play there, yes, he had to slow to the delta time but that just represents his max speed, he’s also obligated to drive at a speed that would allow his to stay clear of anyone on the circuit like a marshal or other driver, had there been a marshal on the ciurcut at that time trying to remove Leclerc’s car Hamilton would have been unable to avoid hitting them, that’s too fast, that’s why he was lucky to avoid trouble over that.
            The delta rule is a sporting rule, to prevent someone getting an advantage, the yellow flag rule is a safety rule, to prevent someone from being killed.

        2. @niefer
          He speeded under unsafe conditions like Bianchi.

          1. @rethla C’mon man, go check the footages. HAM was pretty slow in a slow turn, instead of Spoon and aquaplaning against a tractor on the field.

          2. It’s amazing how Hamilton managed to be investigated by stewards of “driving unecessarily slow behind SC”, and being accused of driving too fast, IN THE SAME TIME.

            Come on.

    2. @rethla There are lessons to be learned, can’t blame the Ham, surely not blame leclerc as some have pointed out.

      Make vsc slower or the delta under safety car, it could avoid this near miss.

      1. @peartree
        They arent learning any lessons, thats the thing. Only luck is the difference here between Bianchi and this.

      2. If you watch the footage you see Lewis is 1-2 m more to the right of the apex so that is why he went off even with those slow speeds. Left rear tyre hit the line and his car just broke out then he hit the curves and he went over it sailing into the wall.

  4. He had no idea a car could go off in the very same place where he himself skidded off THREE times before. And then he wanna speak up about dangerousness at the run-off. Right…

    Ok, I don’t know if it’s something in Maranello’s water, but LEC is also making too many mistakes. His luck is people overlooks it because bashing VET is too much fun.

    1. @niefer I think you’re the one wrong in here. The bias machine made you misread what has been said, just imagine he is not a ferrari driver and read again. Blamed himself and nobody else, made an observation on the run-off and the overall situation.

      1. @peartree I’m sorry, but there’s no bias stating what’s clear: Ferrari is a messed up team right now. Anyone right there at some point makes a costly mistake, on a regular basis. While reading this post, it hit me that LEC is bottling up his chances just as VET and everybody else. He might have won that race.

        But in this case, the thing with LEC, who I do like btw, is I think he should’ve said no thing about the strip because, as I said, he blunted there two times before the one that prompted the crash. So, he should’ve known better, simple as that. He is probably the most offended driver, albeit being the one who stumbled the most amongst all at that turn. But the key factor here is that the car and the action field are hardly the places for self-penance, because things happen. When he totally misplaces his awareness, which is arguably the most basic asset regarding security, then he is just blatantly wrong discharging against it.

        I mean, instead of slowly getting outta car and wandering adrift chatting with his demons, he should’ve taken a responsible action. If a car has no control over there, then he should be the one in control of himself to get out there in one piece. It was dangerous, and it was all his fault. That’s why he should’ve kept his mouth shut about it.

        1. @niefer, you have to bear in mind that you are talking to a poster who seems to have an extreme bias towards Ferrari – for example, by trying to blame Grosjean at one point for the unsafe release in Germany, by complaining that he was too slow to start braking – and is currently trying to spread paranoid conspiracy theories about how people must be against Ferrari.

          The problem is that you are trying to make a rational argument to somebody who has made what seems to be an irrational judgement.

  5. And still F1 will never get it till another death and another…

    If a car is on/just off the racing line, drivers should stay in the car and no marshalls or safety vehicles should ever be on the track until a safety car has brought the rest down to a comfortable speed. No compromise…

  6. What this does illustrate is the speed of F1 cars is not sufficiently shown on TV. When other footage is seen, the assumption is they’re going too fast, because people don’t have an appreciation for how rapid modern F1 cars are.

    1. The shot from T1 runoff towards the main straight was insane, quite amazing how fast they threw the cars into the corner.

      we need more angles like that (and wider onboard cams)

  7. For me the question is: why was Leclerc walking there in the first place? Was there no way to climb over the tyre wall?

    1. Yea and he is walking really slowly with his head pointing ground. What was he thinking ?
      Sleeping princess ?

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