Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

“I may not always get it right” says Hamilton after penalty criticism

2020 Russian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton has said he may not always make the right judgements “in the face of adversity”, after criticising the penalties he received during the Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver strongly criticised the two five-second penalties he was given during the Russian Grand Prix for performing his practice starts in an unapproved location. He served the penalty during his first pit stop, which dropped him from the lead of the race to third place at the finish.

“It’s to be expected,” said Hamilton immediately after the race. “They are trying to stop me, aren’t they?” Speaking in the FIA press conference later Hamilton suggested his team were being targeted in order to keep the championship contest close.

Hamilton made the remarks before the stewards rescinded the two penalty points he was originally given for the incident. He appeared to refer to his post-race reaction in a social media post on Tuesday.

“I may not always get it right in the face of adversity,” said Hamilton. “I may not always react the way you want me to when tensions are high, but I am only human after all and I am passionate about what I do.

“I’m learning and growing every day, and I’ll take my lessons and keep fighting on to the next one. Thank you to those who continue to support and are right there fighting with me.”

Following the cancellation of the two penalty points Hamilton is now on a total of eight instead of 10. An automatic ban is triggered if a driver reaches 12. Hamilton will have two points deducted following the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on November 1st.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and 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.

46 comments on ““I may not always get it right” says Hamilton after penalty criticism”

  1. I may not always get it right in the face of adversity

    Great text for a t-shirt.
    Too bad FIA banned it from being used during official parts of the weekend ;)

    1. @coldfly Hamiltons media exposure would overwhelm any bans the FIA would care to try on.

    2. That ban was a pity. I was eagerly expecting which message Hamilton would send to Putin.

      1. Lewis would never say or do anything that could damage his personal brand. Whether that’s standing up for racial diversity, oppression, or whatever. He jumped on the BLM bandwagon only after it became trendy to do so. Now wearing those shirts, talking the talk… That enhances his brand.

        Speaking truth to power in Russia? Talking about the world turning a blind eye to real oppression of black people like Darfur? None of that helps his brand, so he will keep quiet until it becomes trendy.

        1. The T-Shirt im most excited about is the one he will wear next year during the Saudi Arabian Grand prix.

      2. “Boys don’t wear princess’ dresses” probably

        1. But they shouldn’t. I have no idea why he apologized for that one. He simply bowed to liberal nonsense and political correctness.


          1. He apologized because of all the flak he was getting from the thought police. His apologies sounded quite insincere but obviously he did it to save his public image.

  2. No one gets it right all of the time and as I said previously Hamilton makes the suits uncomfortable. I think there is little doubt that Liberty/FIA are trying to stretch out the championship by targeting Merc. It backfired of course simply because Merc are overall a better run better engineered team with the better driver combination.
    I do worry about what Liberty/FIA will come up with next year if the other teams fail to make solid improvements.

    1. @johnrkh

      Indeed. They clearly closed the gap between Mercedes and Ferrari a lot with their selective bans on certain technology.

  3. “I’m learning and growing every day, and I’ll take my lessons and keep fighting on to the next one. Thank you to those who continue to support and are right there fighting with me.”

    great to see him admit his fault, shows his human side. But what’s with all this fighting? Any reference to what he means with this?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th September 2020, 13:05

      @mcbosch he’s talking about you!

      1. Hahaha!!!

    2. Probably a version of never give up. You’ll need to join his social media and some of his fans accounts to get it.

    3. If you’ve never had to live or deal with consistent adversity, then you won’t know or fully undrerstand what he means.

      Fact is we are human, we do make mistakes overreact, say things out of turn, etc ultimately he’ll have to be selective of what fights he should pick, stewards definitely isn’t one of them.

  4. It’s not a problem that Lewis makes mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. Itcis a problem, how he handles being confronted with making mistakes, that Lewis often tries to find the cause out of himself or is suspecting foul play or he throws in the towel.

    Those are his kneejerk reactions and they are unbefitting of a wdc.

    1. He throws in the towel, yet he is one of the most consistent drivers on the grid. It’s probably because of his car.

    2. I think he handles them very well, you can’t do that and be as successful as he is. Typically because he is at the top he’ll be held to higher standards, over criticised and in general generate more headlines.

  5. Every other driver on the grid knows enough not to start from the pit exit but this guy. Then he belittles stewards for doing their job. Why did they let him off easy?
    He thinks and it’s beginning to look like he is bigger than the sport.
    His is part of the snow flake generation – the ones that were coddled by their parents and have no respect for authority. Calling Mario Andretti ignorant as just one example.
    The FIA should be ashamed for backtracking on their original penalty.

    1. I guess you must not be aware that Hamilton explicitly asked his engineer (at least twice) if he could do the starts where he ended up doing them, and was told “yes”. This was 100% Mercedes fault and 0% Hamilton’s fault. That is why the penalty points were rescinded.

      1. No matter what the teams says to you, you are still responsible for your actions.

      2. @harrydymond

        He merely asked if you could do the starts further up and the team were surprised how far forward he went (which IMO was an unsafe location).

    2. @Jan, I urge you to read the post by anon posted a second after yours under the article by Keith about the reasons why the stewards removed the penalty points. Obviously, not all drivers know where to do their practice starts. Leclerc did one during a recent race (Belgian Grand Prix) and did not elicit comments nor warnings – let alone an investigation and a time penalty from the stewards. As you said, the FIA should be ashamed of itself for inconsistency.

    3. Jan, I’ll admit it gives me great pleasure knowing that the subject of your senseless ire is a 6 time WDC while you are relatively insignificant.

      1. So Hamilton has been in F1 for 13 years and has to ask his team for advise on this? And none of the other drivers are doing it? Doesn’t say much for his IQ.

        1. Maybe you should read Max reply nearly all the drivers rely on the team to interpret the rule book

        2. @Jan – can you tell us something you have achieved in your entire life that we can equate to Hamilton’s achievement at his job?

          That would help put your criticism of him in better context.


          1. What does that have to do with anything? You’re getting off topic. He made a dumb decision either out of ignorance which shouldn’t happen to 13 your veteran, or thought he could get away with it. Then he tried to blame his team. Then he criticizes F1 for unfairly penalizing him. Childish.

  6. The Tuesday after the Turkish GP (the 1st anniversary of last season’s Brazilian GP in which he hit Albon for the first time) is when he’ll lose penalty points the next time, not earlier than that.

  7. I’m a Verstappen fan, but he has said things that were belittling to stewards (Austin, when they took his 3rd place away), or done (shoving Ocon) in the heat of the moment. Vettel had a big one in Mexico, when he went off completely for a penalty not given, and I’m sure everybody can give some examples. I can’t remember any driver receiving a lot of extra penalties for that. Hamilton may seem a bit too polished for my liking at times, I’m actually pleasantly surprised he showed his feelings. And I think it’s classy he corrects his own actions in the same public way he made his original comments (btw: almost ridiculous I feel the need to say I’m a Verstappen fan before giving a compliment to Hamilton, but a number of people here seem to think you’re a blind Hamilton follower when you say something positive about the guy. He is and always will be a great champion, no matter how much I hope and think Verstappen might even surpass him once).

    1. Doh! Was a reply to Jan’s post

      1. ‘Jan’ is a duplicate account tielemst, just posting anything to get responses and not worth replying to. Quite often the ‘replies’ are from the same troll’s other accounts. Anyway well said and I agree with you, and also let me say I hugely respect Max too, and I prefer it when they’re not too meek.

  8. I think he did get it right. Now the stewards know, if they didn’t already, that any more penalties for him will get a LOT of scrutiny. F1 is a brand after all, and it can’t afford to become too noticeably fake, which is the stick Lewis has just waved at them.

  9. @keithcollantine

    He served the penalty during his first pit stop, which dropped him from the lead of the race to third place at the finish.

    That”s an original way to look at it..
    After the pitstop he dropped back to 11 ( about) after that the race was on for hamilton. His position at the end was a result of his progress during that second part of the race.. NOT the penaltys.
    His tire disadvantage probably made the second place something to fight for. He never ever was any threat for Verstappen in the race. So i am not so sure second was in the stars for him.

    1. Hamilton’s hard tyres were about 20 laps older than Vestappen’s hard tyres. There was little Hamilton could do about that so he settled for 3rd. But close inspection of the rules that caused Hamilton’s 10 seconds penalty (2 x 5 seconds) now reveal that Lewis was correct and the FIA should never have penalized him. Max and Bottas got lucky.

  10. Let’s just think about how great he is and not about how dumb he was

  11. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that your were wrong. The problem comes when you compare yourself with the greats just because you’ve had a race winning car for ALL of your easy championships….

    1. The best drivers get the best cars and the best cars get the best drivers. It always works out this way. Get over it.

    2. I think you will find its a multitude of greats who are proclaiming he is one of the greats. But maybe you see something in him that they don’t?

  12. Reading some of the comments here makes you realize how inherently sad and unhappy some folks are with their lives, and how they project that unhappiness unto others.

    People go on about how arrogant, self entitled, and spoilt Lewis Hamilton is. Yet here he is being humble and contrite for something that isn’t actually wrong, and he is still being criticized.

    When Vettel swore at Charlie, and Max swears at the stewards, do they say stuff like this afterwards?

    This simply shows that some people’s issues go well beyond F1 and their dislike for certain drivers.

    1. I could not have said it better! Thank you

  13. +1

    I do despair sometimes reading the comments on here. In the last few months, as the site has increased in popularity, the quality of commenting does seem to have diminished, somewhat.

    What happened to reasoned debate?

    It’s the not the BBC’s Have Your Say for pity’s sake!

  14. Lewis knows he messed up with his comments. Sounds like he recognises it now, which is good for him.

  15. Lewis did nothing wrong.

    Charles did worse I but FIA rigging the sport. The four stewards are going to have a serious problem. Karma is a batch. Remember.

    1. Blackscorpion
      2nd October 2020, 6:42


Comments are closed.