Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2020

Hamilton accepts responsibility for pit error which led to penalty

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he takes full responsibility for the error which led to him taking a 10-second stop-go penalty during the Italian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver entered the pit lane when it was closed during a Safety Car period. He admitted after the race he hadn’t seen a sign warning him not to.

“We didn’t do a great job necessarily with the pit stop,” said Hamilton. “Honestly I didn’t see those boards, so I take responsibility for that so it’s something that we’ll learn from.”

Despite the costly penalty Hamilton recovered to finish two places behind team mate and championship rival Valtteri Bottas, and also scored the bonus point for fastest lap.

“To get seventh and to get fastest lap and still get some good points, I definitely didn’t think that was possible from 26 seconds behind the last car so I’ll definitely take it,” he said. “And grateful obviously Max [Verstappen] didn’t score any points. So not a huge loss today.”

Hamilton congratulated Pierre Gasly on his surprise breakthrough victory for AlphaTauri.

“That’s a huge result for him,” said Hamilton. “I’ve obviously seen what he’s been through from being dropped from the top team and now he’s beaten the top team. I think it’s just fantastic to see him recover and see him grow. I am genuinely really happy for him.

“My race wasn’t meant to be today. It was a bit unfortunate. But what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”

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2020 Italian 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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36 comments on “Hamilton accepts responsibility for pit error which led to penalty”

  1. Publicly? Of course he accepts, but I’m sure he’s not at ease with losing a win over one in a thousand chance event. Nor does he accept the responsibility for not seeing the boards, nobody would be looking at boards on the left when it’s clearly a safety car period and stopped car on the right. Team will learn though.

    1. Yep publicly. 10 minutes ago on Sky.

      1. @pirespt Ivan means that he’s taking the rap for what was a team mistake. Good leadership.

    2. Of course NOT, cause he/they are not Ferrari are FIA assisted! It’s really strange now that it’s like 10th time in a row when the stewards launch the SC perfectly for HAM (to come to pits) and!!!

      No, they would be looking to the left….. cause they are looking how much they will go over the white line. They will never look at the right for sure tho. If not, you’re free to propose to circuits owners over-the-track signal panels.

  2. “I’ve obviously seen what he’s been through from being dropped from the top team” – which you campaigned for.

    1. Huh, have you got a link to that? Bit strange given they are friends.

      1. @riptide – “Hamilton called us several times last year to tell us to put Albon in the car.” – H Marko

        1. It is amazing they follow the advice of their rivals so precisely! Now, anyone, ideas why they are also rans?

        2. That’s not the same as saying “take Gasly out of the car” @asherway

          1. Yeah, most likely he meant to remove VER.

  3. @ivan-vinitskyy kinda weird how 15 other drivers managed to not pit, yet “nobody will be looking at the boards”.

    1. All the teams had much more time to tell their drivers. I’m sure very few drivers actually saw boards, instructions not to pit came over the radio.

    2. Given how far behind they were, they sure had enough time to get the info from their teams.

    3. If you’re gonna make that point, then Giovinazzi making the same mistake is more unforgivable. Why would 10 or more cars in front of him “choose” not pit?

      1. @eurobrun If you listen to Toto in recent interview he describes that it was one of the engineers, not on track but at base, that shouted about noticing closed pit lane as Ham was entering. Mercedes have so many people looking at details, they were arguably best staffed / best prepared to notice these things and even they didn’t call it right in time. Alfa team is much smaller, they don’t have the luxury of extra 100 eyes looking at data.

        1. They did, however, have the luxury of being much further back when the SC came out. Hamilton, by contrast, was a few hundred meters from T11 entry.

  4. Bono can’t always get the blame.

    1. That’s because it’s Ron Meadows job.

  5. It’s easy to rip Hamilton apart for this mistake but it didn’t cost him much in terms of championship points to Botttas and we got to see an epic race because of it. The mistake itself is understandable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the pit lane closed during an F1 race and let’s not forget that Hamilton/Mercedes had the least time to react to the safety car being called. There was still plenty of notice but I do wonder how many drivers were spared the same mistake by having those additional seconds to confirm with the pits. Anyway it’s done and he’s owned up to it. For me it’s a 50/50 with the team as they missed it too. Cost him an easy win but he’ll get that next weekend and a record equaling 7th WDC in a few months time while also earning tens of millions of pounds. So yeah, I think he’ll get over it quick enough.

    1. We don’t even need to look at the championship, depending on red bull’s performance (this race was worrying) verstappen might beat bottas to 2nd, hamilton will win and mercedes will win the constructors’, at this point the only thing we’re racing for is to try and win a race here and there, hamilton said publicly he’s glad he didn’t lose points to verstappen but there’s no competition there, the only important thing is that no top team was on the podium, unusual, for the rest of the year we know the results.

  6. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    6th September 2020, 17:27

    Great leadership from Hamilton. He was chirpy and magnanimous afterwards.

    Obvs, those who don’t like Hamilton will continue to dislike him and pick fault with whatever he says or does regardless, but I think Mercedes had a strong finish today, especially compared to RBR and Ferrari.

    1. And they’re quite a number lurking on these forums. Some commenters just have me wondering what on earth Lewis did to them.

  7. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    6th September 2020, 17:31

    You could tell from the way he got on with it and made his march back through the field he was over this mistake. A few more laps and he would have caught Bottas, which would have the embarrassing.

    It happens, it was a mistake in a rushed heat of the moment phase of the race. Live and learn and certainly don’t mope.

  8. According to Chandok the team told him to pit.

    Still he’s strengthened his position for the title so not all bad.

    1. Yeah, told to pit as the SC came out, but didn’t get the call to stay out until moments after he was in the pit lane and on the limiter. Part of the problem was a back and forth discussion about which tires to go onto.

  9. Well. Who cares. They messed it up and gave it to Gasly. He’s career seems to follow very closely some other french guy called Olivier

    1. WHO CARES?

      Yep who cares… about this ‘fortuitous’ opportunity to play the Italian national anthem at Monza?

      Who cares if a 2000/1 odds bet comes from nowhere to win?

      Who cares if the Ferrari powered Haas slows to stops 5 meters from emergency exit, but gets pushed 100 meters into the pit lane?

      Who cares, as a situation unique to Monza occurs again, as the ‘pit close’ lights aren’t seen on the entry to the parabella?

      [eg, drivers preparing to come in, aren’t look to the periphery of the track, but looking to the inside, for the entry to the pit. eg Those pit close ‘ lights would be better placed in shade on the inside.]

      Who cares if Gasly gets a unexpected tire change, and the car behind him get penalised after he is called in to do the same? Sublime timing.

      Who cares that both Ferrrais appear to have unexplained issues, the second resulting in a controlled crash and that redflag? What were the odds of both Ferraris crashing out?

      Yep who cares so long as a great story is written.

      At least we got to see Hamilton over taking cars, moving from 23 seconds behind the pack, to finish 7th, as his rival Bottas stands in his DRS train in 5th place.

      Monza 2020. A mad / unexplained race.

      1. As far as I know, as an italian, it’s not parabella but parabolica!

        I agree though, some are suspicious, I’m also a conspiracy theorist (example china 2018 red bull was the 3rd best car, with renault engine, the 2 toro rosso crashed into each other, they’re red bull’s B team, and sainz said “there are too many debris, we need the SC” and the SC came out, so red bull could change tyres and win!).

        1. Oh, wait, and sainz was driving a renault back then, same engine!

  10. Good on Lewis for publicly taking the blame. That is what good leaders do, take the blame even when it isn’t even their fault. In this case, the mistake was partly Lewis’ fault, but most of it has to be placed on the team. Lewis could have seen the lights, but as so many have stated, because of where the lights were (instead of the usual place at pit entry), and where the marshalls were, and focus on the pit lane, very easy mistake to make. However, with all those eyes on the monitors, pitwall should have been able to call off the stop. They were unlucky in that Lewis was so far ahead, they only had seconds to do so, where as the rest of the teams had a lot more time to get it right. But that is their job. Mercedes is such a good TEAM, I am certain that behind closed doors, there are lots of people trying to take blame for the mistake. I am also certain that from now on, someone has the responsibility to verify the pit lane is open on EVERY box call.

  11. Following VET’ steps.

  12. How many other teams had tyres out of tyre warmers in the pitlane before they realised the pit lane was closed? The teams were slow in seeing the closure. Hamilton not seeing a warning is a standard offence and punishment in racing – no arguement from me. Hopefully there will be safety lessons learnt to make things clearer for split second decisions at high speed.. A red light on pit entry is an obvious improvement as that is where drivers will be looking.

  13. Giant steps Lewis!

    1. …no loses no gains…

      Thanks to his fastest lap, he remains 47 points in front, but what a farce.

  14. Watching Toto , Ham and co trying to weasel their way out of a clear cut safety rule was really disgusting.

    Even more so with such a dominant car, knowing that they could still win easily from the back.

    1. Someone should tell that to Bottas.

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