Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Imola, 2021

Hamilton was “in too much of a hurry” when he went off lapping Russell

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was “really grateful” that he was able to get his Mercedes out of the gravel and to the chequered flag after crashing in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The incident occured during his pursuit of race leader Max Verstappen. Hamilton was lapping Williams driver George Russell at the Tosa hairpin, but skated off-track, nudged the barrier and came to a halt in the gravel trap.

The world champion was able to keep his engine running and reverse back onto track. However a broken front wing from the crash meant a pit stop was required, which cost him a lap and left him down in ninth place.

“On my side, it was not the greatest of days,” admitted Hamilton. “First time I’ve made a mistake in a long time, but I’m grateful I was able to bring the car home still.

“There was only one dry line, and I guess I was in a bit too much of a hurry to get by everyone. Coming to the inside I could see it was wet and I was trying to stop, but the thing wouldn’t stop, and it sent me off.

“A bit unfortunate, but I’m really, really grateful that we got to get going again, and to get some points for the team was really important.”

The mid-race stoppage, due to a major crash involving Russell and Valtteri Bottas, allowed Hamilton to rejoin the lead lap. He was able to charge back up to second place in the restarted race.

Hamilton says he “wasn’t thinking” about a potential recovery during the time the race was stopped, instead examining the damage to his car.

“I was just trying to get over the gutting kind of feeling it is when you make a mistake, and just moving on from it,” said Hamilton.

“Just learning from it real quick, you don’t have time to dwell on it so that’s what I did, get back into racing spirit. I didn’t know whether or not we would be able to overtake because offline was going to be wet, but still had some really good, fun battles with all the guys.”

Russell admitted he could have chosen a better place to let Hamilton pass him, but said he was trying to let the world champion through as quickly as possible.

“I gave him all the room but I probably should have let him through in another place,” said Russell. “I was doing my best.

“I got the blue flag, let him past at the earliest possibility, but that was the wettest corner on the track. So really unfortunate for him and sorry for him. One of those things. I thought I was doing him a favour by getting out at the earliest moment and obviously didn’t.”

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2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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48 comments on “Hamilton was “in too much of a hurry” when he went off lapping Russell”

  1. Lewis was much too keen to serve up some comedy for our benefit.
    Now we know what he’ll be doing next year when he quits F1: team up with Keith Lemon for late night comedy.

    1. You should take up comedy yourself Rodber! You have to use more than one gag though.

      1. Now I’m joining to the Brawhalla multiplayer server:
        Bruce Lee : “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
        Hehehe.

  2. A couple of mistakes all ‘in house’, leading to another one of those ‘might have beens’.

    Hamilton vs Russell, on any other day would have been simple mannered over take.
    Instead Hamilton beaches the car.

    But then as if to prove his value to team Mercedes, as the supream wing man, we have Bottas and Russell.
    Their coming together, current and future wingmen, lead to the stopage, and ofcourse field being bunched
    at the restart. This naturally gave Hamilton the that chance to catch and beat all, but one.

    Bottas vs Russell , “You shall not pass”.

    1. i laughed at this so hard!!!

  3. I’d blame Mercedes for that slow stop again just like in Bahrain, and at the same part of the car, the front right. Had the stop been 2 seconds faster, maybe Hamilton would not have been behind Bottas and Russell. Anyway, still Hamilton’s mistake, but the slow pit stop did not help him, and Mercedes really need to rectify this. That is 2/2 races where they had a pit stop issue on one car. Pit stops mean nothing if you have a huge pace advantage, but now that the cars are evenly matched, they matter even more. A team loss really, but I think Hamilton had the pace to keep up with Verstappen or even win the race when it became dry.

    1. @krichelle You’re right, it’s an area Mercedes have been able to neglect until now. I knew they would take 1 or 2 seconds longer than Red Bull to do the pit stop. After telling Hamilton to set a fast lap time for the overcut…

    2. Yes… but as you say “..still Hamilton’s mistake”. Yes the stop was slow but Lewis also had a sub par start and tried to hang it around the outside of Max. He is allowed a few errors but today was all on Lewis, the good and the bad.

      1. HAM also made a mistake in the last race (running wide). This after stating to the team “leave it up to me” (to win the race).
        Pressure has to be a part of it now that RBR may have a car to match Merc.
        We will find out soon enough I suppose.

        1. Yes…Lewis may need to re set his approach a little if there is a clise season long WDC fight on. However… if theres one man you want in the car when the “pressure” is on, it’s certainly Lewis. Couple of errors today ( I think the Bahrain incident you quote is stretching it a little) but they will be fixed. A great bit of damage limitation today, even if self induced.

  4. Did he nudge the barriers when skating off the track or when trying to rejoin at max steer lock?

    1. When try to rejoin. Seemed a bit of a weird thing to do from my sofa, tbf

      1. @minilemm I think he tried to avoid going over the gravel again. Driving slow through gravel carries a big risk of getting stuck.

        1. Figured as much, but it never seemed a safe move (or even possible) yet he seemed to have gone straight for it – he obviously knows a few things I don’t, but.. not sure he was thinking straight that very second.

        2. Today’s damp gravel was merciful on everyone went off, none got stuck

    2. Look carefully and you will notice a ham in panicky mood.
      Did not make it full lock back before he went forward, resulting in a damaged wing.

      He then decided to go back all the way.
      Only the red flag saved him from a ugly faith.

      1. Yes, “panicky” may be a bit OTT but certainly overzealous. We have seen the same from “others” over recent year’s.

      2. Yep. And he ran wide in the last race also.
        If Max can keep up the pressure HAM may continue to make blunders.

        1. Max nearly spun off during restart and made a hasty illegal past last race though. If anyone is to succumb to pressure I’d still bet in the inexperienced hotheaded guy losing it later in this season. Kind of like Hamilton himself in 2007.

      3. The luck of Hamilton is incredible. The safety car at just the right time like last year, then a perfect red flag to unlap himself without any time loss so he can get 2nd and not lose points in the championship.

        He even got a nice slipstream to bag the fastest lap point at the end, and a nice yellow flag after that and some traffic for Verstappen that prevented him get it back before the finish. I’m almost surprised he didn’t get a safety car at the end to challenge for the win.

      4. @erikje

        Look carefully and you will notice a ham in panicky mood. Did not make it full lock back before he went forward, resulting in a damaged wing.

        Yes properly flustered, just banged it into the wall in his panic to get out even though he must clearly have seen it wouldn’t work

      5. His recovery drive didn’t seem panicky at all

        1. Shhhhh! Your balanced reasoning have no place in this conversation!!😀

  5. He got lucky with the red flag that allowed him to rejoin the lead lap and make a very good damage limitation points-wise.

    1. Not so much luck as application of wonky rules.

      1. Davethechicken
        18th April 2021, 18:30

        You don’t agree with the Red flag, or the unlapped car rules?
        Max has benefited from the unlapped car rule many times, clearing back markers from in front of him at the restarts of safety cars.

        1. Like Germany 2019?
          You are totally wrong.

        2. Allowing repairs under red flags is unfair to all the others. I know there are arguments for safety. How about a new rule that repairs can commence once the five minute notice for restart is given. That would be less offensive to our sense of natural justice.
          Also of course if you’re a lap down that shouldn’t be wiped out just like that before a restart.
          Lewis got the best of these injustices today, and frankly it puts audiences off F1.

          1. @Rodber How are repairs under a red flag unfair to others? I fail to see your argument.

          2. OR… how about… no repairs for Lewis Hamilton when the race is Red flagged? Would that make things better for you Rodber?

          3. @Jere says:
            “How are repairs under a red flag unfair to others? I fail to see your argument”

            Are you kidding? Would HAM have caught NOR or LEC (among others) if not for the red flag? Hello no!
            He screwed up should have to pay the consequences.
            His car should not be able to be touched during the red flag – it’s a no brainer.
            It’s the worst rule in F1.

      2. Wonky? Are you’re saying they should stay a lap down, when everyone else gets to close the gap? That would both mean that a small gap between two midfield cars will be extended to a huge gap, and that backmarkers would fight tooth and nail not to be lapped. None of those things would be good for anyone.

        1. @losd I think a lot of people who think cars should be put on the same lap for a full restart haven’t really through the implications.

  6. Who else had a flashback to Hockenheim 2018 when they saw Hamilton going into the barrier? And what a lucky coincidence in the next instance to have the race saved by the race-stopping incident. This man has tremendous qualities, but the Lady Fortune also favours him more than others.

    1. You could say the same for Max. Who spears off the track behind the safety car, yet keeps the lead? I think the pair of them have so much skill and talent that they are planning their recovery from a mistake before the rest of us realise they have made one.

  7. Russel should have moved off the racing line. Lewis had to go onto the wet part which he did admit was a mistake but its Russell’s fault. As a lapped car he supposed to move off the racing line. He was being lapped.

    1. Meh… not with you there. Lewsi takes the blame for me. Sure GR could’ve been kinder with the overtake but Lewis chose to take it. Great recovery though.

    2. I like how Verstappen made it in a different way, losing 1.5 seconds behind those cars but patiently waiting for the right place to overtake all of them in one move.
      Being impatient had cost Max a win in previous race, now it was Lewis who briefly lost his cool head (and slow pit-stop surely didn’t help with this). I hope the rest of the season will provide us the same level of action with leading drivers and teams under constant pressure from each other.

    3. Russell Cost Mercedes Big Time is this Race!!!

      1. Is George Russell A Traitor?

  8. Like a champ accepts the mistake and moves on. Hamilton didn’t have to overtake Russell there and he’ll learn from it as he normally does.

    He is still the championship leader…

    1. Yes, stellar race from Lewis. And the Mercedes in free air race pace clearly shows there is no underdog position for Mercedes, that’s just marketing talk to encapture audience for Liberty. The rest have caught up, yes but thats about it. Still it should make for more variation on the podium and more wins for RedBull I guess. No doubt the prices will go to Mercedes in the end. Good to see McLaren up there with Ferrari in the mix trailing after RedBull. Enough ingredients for a decent season

      1. Well Toto must be on a different marketing strategy now, as he said the Mercedes was the quickest car out there today. Which I think it pretty much was apart from the start

        1. Yes, they tried to spread the lie to make the whole circus seem more entertaining. It failed, so now he will change the story. Isn’t that how it always goes at big corporations. Nothing against Toto but this underdog role play, by the way. Stellar team boss but this little flaw is so unnecessary and frankly a bit insulting to people who watch the sport closely.

  9. Drivers being Lapped should Get Away from the Racing Line

    1. Agreed, let them worry about the wet part of the track. Norris 2nd place was stolen from him yesterday. Time to overhaul some of the sports regulations maybe. Do understand the safety issues involved but worth exploring alternative solutions as it is just plain nonsense that a car a lap down can steal 2nd

      1. STEAL?? Bit much isnt it! He should’ve kept Lewis behind. No theft to report here.

  10. And Real Madrid can’t afford to sign Russell…

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