Lewis Hamilton, Alexander Albon, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton collision cost me chance to win, says Albon

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Alexander Albon says he could have won the Austrian Grand Prix had he not tangled with Lewis Hamilton while overtaking the Mercedes driver for second place.

Albon used a late Safety Car period to switch to soft tyres and was attacking the leading Mercedes drivers when the collision with Hamilton spun him out of the points.

“I really felt like we could have won that race,” Albon told Sky. “Of course, I think Mercedes had the outright pace today, but the guys did a great job with strategy.

“Honestly, when I did the pit stop, I thought, ‘where are we on track?’ I didn’t really know what was going on.”

After the last Safety Car period Albon was in third behind the Mercedes pair with a clear shot at passing both of them.

“As soon as it all played out, it looked really strong first. I knew basically that they were on the hard tyres and the first five laps was when I was going to do the overtakes. I was confident the car was feeling good at that stage of the race.”

Albon compared the collision between the pair to their tangle in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, which occured in similar circumstances.

The stewards held Hamilton responsible for the collision, giving him two penalty points on his licence.

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

61 comments on “Hamilton collision cost me chance to win, says Albon”

  1. His engine also didn’t give him a chance…

  2. Albon retired in the end with a mechanical failure. Important to note.

    1. Both cars retired. Though Albon’s mechanical issue might have been caused by collision.

    2. I believe Horner said they had a small issue but decided to retire the car anyway…perhaps saving the engine for the coming wwekend.And since Albon had been shunted out of the points there wasn’t much purpose in continuing

  3. Yeah right hamilton would have just flown past in another 3 laps, albon lacks race smarts

    1. That’s not a good assessment. He did overtake other cars on track.

    2. Doubtful. Lewis was on used hard tires and was nursing his car, Albon had new softs.

      1. @Dane Almost new softs. He had used them for (presumably) a single flying lap in QLF, so quite fresh.

  4. Im surprised he admitted that the Brazil collision was 50/50 in his opinion, like most people did. Lewis admitting fault without looking at the incident made it easier for the stewards to award him a timed penalty.

    Todays collision looks more like a race incident than the Brazilian one. Albon did not need to try close the gap that quick, knowing that there was a car next to you.

    If I were Mercedes, I’d contest the decision. Racing incident at most in my opinion.

    1. +1 Agree totally, Lewis accepted blame too readily in Brazil and it has hit him again in this race.

    2. Lewis probably only admitted fault in Brazil as there was no championship at stake so it made no difference whatever he said. I would be shocked if he feels exactly the same after this collision.

      For what its worth my view is that it was touch-and-go between a racing incident and Lewis’ fault. He didn’t turn into him per se as he kept a consistent steering angle but this angle was arguably taking him to the racing line on the outside and it would have been naive on Lewis’ part to not expect Alex to be there. Maybe he thought that there was enough of a raw performance delta so that Alex would have side-by-side at best and assumed he wouldn’t be there, in which case the line he took and sustained would have been OK.

    3. More a racing accident in my opinion because I’ve seen the driver on the outside get blamed many times for such incidents more so when there was no turn of the steering wheel by the driver on the inside corner.

    4. Slavisa (@sylversurferr)
      5th July 2020, 17:44

      You can’t held your racing line if you have car ahead on it. Hamilton fault 100%. Destroying Albon chance to win race 10 sec penalty would be more appropriate.

      1. Albon destroyed his own chance. A more experienced driver would realize the pace advantage on the much fresher tires, and pounce at the best opportunity, not at the first opportunity. He put his car at risk unneccessarily….it wasn’t close to being near the end of the grand prix. He’s a young driver who needs to learn a bit more patience and race craft. Going around the outside at that corner, when you arrive to the corner behind the car you plan to overtake, is a risk. He had the pace, he knew it, he took the risk, and it bit him. Is Hamilton at fault? He definitely squeezed him, but it wasn’t egregious. We see worse all the time…it’s just the more experienced drivers back out of it knowing what is coming.

    5. I too thought Lewis was generous in shouldering all the blame at Brazil, but I think he’s more clearly in the wrong this time. I’d chalk part of it up to simply not having a lot of data in the memory bank when it comes to being overtaken on the outside at that corner—in order to leave room, you have to alter your line quite a bit with the left-hand kink coming up, so it’s easy to misjudge. And for that reason one could second-guess the wisdom of Albon’s move. But having pulled ahead on the outside, he was perfectly entitled to be where he was. Overtaking on the outside is legal, after all…

  5. He might well be right. But if that is the case, maybe it also means that Albon could have waited and made the move at a point where it was a shoe in.
    Much like Leclerc passed Perez, not moving around the outside of Hamilton in that corner, where it was always likely that Hamilton and Albon might come together unless either corrected course.

    Sure, the penalty for Hamilton was OK. And Albon was ahead. But that was not a move that was one that would clearly work.

    1. @bascb If he hadn’t made the move there then he might not have got another chance. Anyway, in F2 and in F1 there have been plenty of successful clean moves there, it just happened on this occasion Hamilton was clumsy. If Albon hadn’t gone for the move everyone would have said he was too weak…

  6. I can’t believe some people are blaming Albon for being impatient. After Hamilton, he had to catch and pass Bottas too! And it’s not like he did anything wrong! Really silly.

    1. Formula 1 fans nowadays are so soft. I remember the days when daring moves in unorthodox corners were celebrated, not criticized for being “impatient”

      1. @kingshark ‘lol’ So you’re a ‘hard’ fan backing Hamilton’s penalty? What happened to hard racing? I can remember when Formula 1 fans used to celebrate that. (Last year.)

        1. @david-br
          Penalties are appropriate when one driver is clearly 100% at fault and ruins the other drivers race, which was the case here.

          1. @kingshark Sounds a bit soft to me.

      2. Juan Manuel begs to differ

    2. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      5th July 2020, 17:44

      Thank you carbon fibre. I didn’t understand Brundle when he said Albon needed more patience and a lot of people on here too. He had to get by Lewis to have a good go at Bottas imo as well.

      1. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
        5th July 2020, 18:10

        I think Brundles’ point was that this particular corner, this particular pass, was not necessary. Albon could have passed Lewis on the following straight (DRS was still available) in which case he could have sailed past with much less risk. Instead of dreaming of 1st, he should have had a level head and secured 2nd beforehand. Then who knows, maybe 1st was possible.

    3. @carbon_fibre you can be impatient while still in the right.

      Let’s be honest – had Albon waited another lap or so, he would probably have made the overtake stick and likely gone on to lead the race.

      Regardless of who’s fault it was, the key thing is that Albon could have avoided it had he been more patient. In the same way, if you are driving round a roundabout and see a lorry approaching with no intention of stopping, would you stop even knowing you had right of way? Of course. Right of way matters little when you’re dead, and the same concept applies here.

  7. Ludicrous decision.
    So let’s imagine that Lewis is driving as fast as he can and just balancing the speed with thre cornering ability of the car. Then someone appears on the outside of the corner from him. How exactly is he supposed to retrospectively change the speed at which he entered the corner and magic up some space where his car is about to be.
    Albon put his car in danger by going round the outside, what exactly did he think wad going to happen?

    1. How exactly is he supposed to retrospectively change the speed at which he entered the corner and magic up some space where his car is about to be.

      They were exiting the corner; cars were under throttle.

      1. @coldfly Are you sure Hamilton was on the throttle? I need to see the onboard again but on first replay I was listening to the engine and I didn’t think he was on throttle before they made contact. Albon was certainly on throttle because of the different line and more grip, but my first impression was that Hamilton wasn’t. This is the kind of thing that can inform a steward’s decision though so if Hamilton was on throttle then he wasn’t doing everything he could to avoid the collision and I would agree with the penalty.

        1. Are you sure Hamilton was on the throttle?

          TBH, not 100%. But from what I saw and where in the corner they collided I would have expected to.
          I’ll check the onboards as well, @keithedin.

          If Lewis wasn’t on the throttle (or not more than needed to just keep grip) then of course there was nothing he could have done at that time, and maybe the penalty was too harsh.

          1. @coldfly Just checked and he was on partial throttle from around the apex of the corner. So the question is if he could have avoided the collision by remaining off throttle for longer. I’m not a racing driver so not 100% sure of the dynamics here, in terms of balancing the car and aerodynamics, but I would’ve thought staying off throttle he could have taken a tighter line.

            So on that basis I’d actually agree with the penalty, since my issue with it was that I didn’t think Hamilton could have avoided it after the point he started braking for the corner.

    2. I think he thought a 6 time WC with 13 years F1 experience won’t hit me again

      1. sure, but if you’ve taken the corner as fast as you can, you’re going to be on the outside of the track at the exit point, if you were closer to inside of the corner, then you weren’t going fast enough!

    3. Er, Hamilton had taken a defensive line down the straight and they entered the corner side-by-side. He absolutely knew Albon was there…

      1. So the driver on the inside is expected to slow down and let the guy on the outside go past?
        That’s not what happened on lap one.
        No, no. after you! you were going faster than me earlier so you certainly deserve to go past old chap!

        I’m SO glad this is all back on! :-)

        1. Once a driver has a decent advantage over the other, they have the right to the space. The trailing driver only has a right to move out of the way.

  8. Albon was showing how inexperienced he is. He had fresh Softs, and as an LH supporter, he would have easily passed Lewis on the straights, once he had DRS. Was it Lewis’s fault, probably not as Alex overtook him as they went round the corner and Lewis did slam the anchors on pretty hard. However the penalty was (grudgingly) probably justified as Alex went for a spin. If that had been turn 3 and not turn 4 then it would have been a different story due to run off differences.

  9. Albon’s soft tires heated up more quickly than Hamilton’s hards. If Albon had waited Hamilton’s straight line speed and pace advantage would have put him out of range. It was a great move, and Hamilton saw him and comes out of the throttle but, overtaking round the outside is always fraught with danger, I would call it 50/50 Albon had to try then and Hamilton did what he would to avoid contact.

    1. Slavisa (@sylversurferr)
      5th July 2020, 17:47

      Hamilton did nothing to avoid contact. He deserve atleast 10 sec penalty for destroying Albon chance to win race.

  10. I find it like Albon could have been a little bit smarter here, looking at the pictures Albon had plenty of room to the outside, he wasn’t even on the white line. Don’t get me wrong, I think is a well deserved penalty… But if Albon knows he’s passing Hamilton, he could have been a little wider to prevent a touch.

    Leclerc did the same pass to Norris and the only difference that I see is that leclerc passed on top of the kerbs.

    I’m no Red Bull fan but feel bad for Albon though.

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    5th July 2020, 17:43

    Albon is completely to blame for both incidents. Yes, I know Lewis was kind enough to accept responsibility in Brazil but Perez made the same mistake of leaving the door open today as Albon in Brazil and had to let LeClerc and Norris through. There’s nothing you can do there and Albon made a mistake defending the indefensible in Brazil.

    I really like Albon – I hope he learns from this. Driving is not easy but you can’t make cars disappear and if you can’t drive side-by-side with Lewis, then you really don’t belong in F1. It’s kind like hitting forehands with Nadal and sending the ball in the air everytime and Nadal getting a penalty cause you can’t put your racket on the ball.

    Like Max, Albon seems to be the kind that learns from mistakes, so hopefully, he’s taken this lesson to heart. The stewards ain’t helping him by making the wrong calls.

    1. Slavisa (@sylversurferr)
      5th July 2020, 17:54

      Albon was 1 car lenght ahead, how can he be one to blame for that incident? It was obvious 110% Hamilton fault cause he didn’t yield when he already lose his place.

    2. Geez @freelittlebirds,

      You cannot be serious, right? How can Albon be blamed for either of those two crashes. In both cases Lewis is fully to blame for not leaving enough space for his fellow competitors. I think Lewis might be so used to cruising up ahead in first place and then when things go wrong like here in Austria and last year in Brazil, that he looses his excellent driving skills for a split second and ruins Albons race.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        5th July 2020, 18:33

        @aegges66 Watch Lewis to learn how he avoids all kinds of incidents. He wasn’t trying to tangle with Albon on either of those. Albon had plenty of space to continue the overtake without running into Lewis but he chose to end his race – sad for him and sad for Lewis who took a penalty cause Albon is taking Racing 101 and is getting a C-.

        In Brazil, Lewis was going to tuck behind him.

        Any driver can smash their car into another car and call for a penalty. It’s the equivalent of diving in soccer. It’s the easy way out but I don’t think it will help Albon. Another one like with Max and he’s a goner.

        I like the kid and his background story so he needs to read this and learn while he still has a drive. Everything else ruins his career. The stewards are completely misleading the poor kid.

        If I were his coach, I’d have him do 1,000 push-ups after this disaster and I’d even ask him to apologize to Lewis so that he does NOT repeat this mistake.

        1. @freelittlebirds Yes, exactly, how dares Albon trying to overtake the God-Emperor Lewis Hamilton?
          Trying to overtake any other driver on the grid? Sure, that’s F1 after all… but Lewis Hamilton? Oh no no no. Not without a permisson that he’s willing to yield only after he has a car problem. Why does it matter after all that Albon was ahead of Hamilton? It’s Hamilton right to drive wherever he wants no matter who is in front/alongside him…

          he chose to end his race

          Any driver can smash their car into another car and call for a penalty. It’s the equivalent of diving in soccer

          In football, players dive (pretend they’re hurt without actually being) to get a foul and/or to get the oppponent a yellow/red card that means he could be sent off the game. Please explain me how Albon self-crashed and what did or could have achived to his interest by crashing out of the race.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            5th July 2020, 19:36

            @black You can technically overtake any driver (well except Max Verstappen) in F1. It’s all in the way you overtake. An overtake in racing is a little bit different from an overtake on the highway where you just breeze by. The other driver can defend and is actually almost required by his team to defend when racing for position. The only time a driver will not defend is if the other car is so quick that there’s no point in defending.

            If you are racing and overtake on the outside, then you should expect to have to cross track limits and to move as you go into the corner. If you watch the race, Albon pushed Lewis completely off track at the start of the race…

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            5th July 2020, 19:41

            @black You can technically overtake any driver (well except Max Verstappen) in F1. It’s all in the way you overtake. An overtake in racing is a little bit different from an overtake on the highway where you just breeze by. The other driver can defend and is actually almost required by his team to defend when racing for position. The only time a driver will not defend is if the other car is so quick that there’s no point in defending.

            If you are racing and overtake on the outside, then you should expect to have to cross track limits and to move as you go into the corner. If you watch the race, Albon pushed Lewis completely off track at the start of the race…

            Did you see how Lewis avoids the guaranteed collision? Sure, Albon might have gotten a penalty but it just didn’t make sense for Lewis to force an overtake.

            As to why Albon expects to overtake and keep his racing line, that’s not a penalty. That’s a joke that Albon made and one Horner is not laughing about.

          3. @freelittlebirds

            If you are racing and overtake on the outside, then you should expect to have to cross track limits and to move as you go into the corner.

            No you shouldn’t. If Albon was alongside Lewis whlie overtaking, which he was, then Lewis must leave him 1 car length of space by the rules, not force him out of the track. And if Albon was ahead of Lewis, which he was, he’s entitled to that line and Lewis has to yield that line, not crash into him because ‘he’s been taking the same line thought that corner all race’…

            As for the start, incidents at the start, for better or worse, are treated differently. Lewis very often pushes off the other driver at the start and never gets a penalty. If what happened on Albon & Lewis on lap 60 was the other way around, then Albon would have been at fault.

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            5th July 2020, 20:17

            @black Albon did get a car length’s width.

          5. @freelittlebirds The car’s length part is a little unclear in this situation because we haven’t seen Albon’s onboard yet and from Hamilton’s onboard you can’t see 100% if he did. The stewards probably have and have given a penalty. And from a short trip to history, Hamilton rarely gets a penalty, sometimes even if he deserved to, so this time he’ll probably deserved to.
            But no matter if Lewis left space or not, he also crashed into Albon (kinda different but similar wrongdoing to leaving space) as Albon was ahead and was entitled to the racing line which Lewis steered into.

          6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            5th July 2020, 21:27

            The stewards giving a penalty has no bearing on whether the offense was punishable or not.

            There’s no racing line that anyone is entitled to… Albon could have steered away and still made the overtake but instead chose to hold his ground and end his race. Fortunately for him, he didn’t end Lewis’ race but ended up getting an undeserved penalty.

            Nothing wrong with Lewis defending there – he’s actually being paid to do that and Albon is also being paid to avoid the collision by steering clear of Lewis.

            For sure, Albon got what he deserved and a few mistakes like that and he’ll be playing video games or back to Alpha Tauri for a brief stint.

          7. @freelittlebirds Spoken like a true unbiased fan of anyone but Hamilton. Kudos for your objectivity Sir!

            The stewards giving a penalty has no bearing on whether the offense was punishable or not.

            Yeah they were just sitting around all afternoon and though “hey let’s punish Lewis for something that isn’t punishable or his fault”, and Mercedes seem ok with that. Also i like your correlation of ‘doing something, non-punishable and giving a penalty to someone’. The stewarts are clearly biased, for all i know they could have easily handed the 5sec penalty for the Hamilton-Albon crash to someone else instead of Hamilton…like Latifi or Raikkonen. Giving the 5sec on Lewis clearly makes them crazy and biased.

            There’s no racing line that anyone is entitled to… Albon could have steered away and still made the overtake

            Yeah, who cares that he was ahead and the rules clearly state that Hamilton has to yield that line. He could have easily either steer to the right, into Lewis, or to the left, into the gravel. There are so many options, why can’t he just pick one? Silly Albon…

            Nothing wrong with Lewis defending there – he’s actually being paid to do that and Albon is also being paid to avoid the collision by steering clear of Lewis

            Exactly, ‘Albon being paid to overtake cleanly and Lewis being paid to avoid collisions’ is a big No No. It should always be the other way around, because who are we (also the stewarts) to question the view of a random fan?

          8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            6th July 2020, 16:52

            @black I’m biased towards Lewis but I would also question Lewis’s driving if he did something that was completely unreasonable.

            I also like Albon and, without a doubt, he’ll pay the biggest penalty of all. He went from likely hero to, what is without any measure of doubt, a zero and he scored zero points when Red Bull needed him to score points the most in 2 races.

            When the dust settles, Christian and Helmut are not going to side with Albon on this. After all, they know how good Lewis is and Albon is a huge question mark that just popped 2 more question marks next to his name. Lewis has popped 6 Championships and were it not for truly extraordinary circumstances, he would have won 9 (2007, 2010, 2016).

            In the end who was at fault is immaterial for Albon because if he keeps the racing line and doesn’t adjust for other drivers defending, he’ll be without a drive soon. It’s the exact same thing with Kvyat who felt that his “torpedo” driving style was within the racing rules by him.

            If Albon had done this to Max, what do you think Christian’s opinion and the stewards’ opinion would have been even if Max had torpedoed Albon on the overtake? Christian would have called Albon 100% wrong and Max right for throwing him into the gravel.

            The stewards would not have penalized Max as both cars would have been taken out.

            Does that make Albon and Max right in that scenario? They both would have been at fault. Albon needed to move to the outside as Max defended and Max should have given him a car’s width. If Albon doesn’t move, he’s at fault. If Albon moves and is pushed to the gravel, Max is at fault. It doesn’t take a genius to see that or to be fair although biases seem to make it hard for folks to remain logical on this forum.

  12. Every time Hamilton collides with Albon, a McLaren finishes third.

  13. Chance of winning? Definitely. Would have been interesting to see how long the soft tyres would last on Albon, and if the Mercedes could turn it up (and use the kerbs) without incurring more mechanical issues. With DRS and improved traction out of T3, I think we would have been in for a fight.

  14. Hamilton is totally the one to blame here as he lifted in the middle of the corner and Albon was already well ahead when they made contact. But Albon’s lack of experience might have cost him an almost certain win in this race.

    The penalty was well deserved and Hamilton was lucky, as he could have DNF’d after the contact.

    1. Albon had plenty of pace in his hands to do the job without rushing it.

      He had much more grip and went for the outside, hamilton had worn and harder tyres. they touched.

      Racing incident. Or isn’t the guy behind allowed to fight back anymore?

      1. Fighting back is not the same as causing an accident. The fact Albon rushed his move doesn’t at all affect the rules, which is what we are discussing here. He doesn’t get penalised (and rubbed from the race) for trying to pass when there would be opportunity later. Too many people are confusing race tactics with blame for the incident. Lewis needed to yield as the driver over half a vehicle length behind, and he did nothing, rather he put down the accelerator which worsened the turning circle. Too many Hamilton fans.
        That’s not to say Albon would have won, but Hamilton was (again) in breach of the rules and deserved a greater punishment.

        1. Albon has plenty of space on his left side, man. You don’t cross in front of someone you are not even sure you’re clear off. That’s basic. He had more grip and everything on his side, yet he take a chance to believe the other was taking avoiding action for him.

          And this “fans” stuff has has nothing to do with the discussion, there are disagreements everywhere about this. It’s not an obvious crash by any means to reduce it to “fans”.

        2. I’m an ardent LH fan and have been since his first F1 race,when he too was a youngster and ‘pushed the limits’ to the annoyance of FA.But,and it’s a big BUT, all this talk about inexperience and taking chances,that is what youth does and that’s how previous limits get pushed to new boundaries.
          I see nothing,nothing,wrong with AA’s attempt to pass and I would like to excuse Lewis for the incident…but a 6 times world champ should not have been involved,yet again, in such an incident especially when he could clearly see Alex alongside and in front!
          I find it fascinating the way folks often dismiss the obvious in favour of PC. What I also find fascinating is how someone like Ross Brawn can write an article about the race in F1 website and never mention Albon at all.
          I’m still a (saddened) LH fan.

  15. Hamilton is at fault but you roll the dice when you try to pass on the outside. No penalty on the other guy will be of help if you get spun or crash when the other guy locks up or whatever.

Comments are closed.