You can’t let crash fears get into your mind – Hamilton

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he put out of his mind fears of suffering a similar crash to Max Verstappen during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Verstappen and Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll both experienced high-speed crashes in yesterday’s race after suffering apparent tyre failures on their cars. Pirelli later revealed a cut had also been discovered on one of Hamilton’s tyres.

Hamilton sped past the scene of Verstappen’s crash as the Red Bull driver was pitched towards a barrier at over 300kph. Afterwards Hamilton said he put thoughts of it out of his mind.

“I wasn’t really thinking too much about it, to be honest,” said Hamilton. “I didn’t have enough information, so I didn’t know if it was a tyre failure or hitting debris. You just can’t let that sort of stuff get in your mind.”

After Verstappen’s crash, Hamilton was on course to overturn his championship rival’s points lead. But an error at the final restart meant he failed to score, and Hamilton left Azerbaijan still four points behind Verstappen.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult two races,” said Hamilton. “Today it’s obviously a very painful experience. I think today was really a stroke of bad luck, but Max had bad luck too, and these sorts of things happen.”

Hamilton apologised to his team for running wide at the restart when he accidentally hit a switch on his steering wheel.

“Naturally I’m sorry to all the team,” he said. “We’ll just regroup and try and come back stronger.

“But I think there’s lots of positives to take from the weekend in terms of where we recovered to get back to.”

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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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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9 comments on “You can’t let crash fears get into your mind – Hamilton”

  1. Fair reflection by the champ. Apart from the fact that the bad luck component was not equal between him and Max.

    I wonder though if Max would have made that brake setting error, all pundits would go like ‘ championship pressure; lack of experience in title fight ‘ .
    Fact is : no one is flawless. Even the (arguable) goat isn’t as we have seen in imola, Monaco and Baku.

    1. @trib4udi It is conceivable that Max would face more criticism in the same situation. The press often follows the same patterns, young challenger makes mistakes, that must be due to inexperience and so on.

      So far, the press is still sympathetic to Lewis, but if more mistakes creep in and the title becomes a distant prospect, the pendulum could swing the other way.

    2. Lewis seems to have a fascinating relationship with the Baku track!!

      2016 – Fouls up in qualifying, which was followed by trashing his dressing room at the end of the race.

      2017 – First signs of Vettel cracking up (how ironic given that yesterday, was arguable his best race since then) as he shunts Hamilton and then bizzarley his headrest comes loose, causing him four places.

      2018 – 2nd best to Bottas and then the poor Finns tyre blows!!

      2019 – The one race he was 2nd to Bottas, where he never looked like beating him.

      2021 – Arguably his most laughable error since crashing into the back of the Kimster at Canada 2008. The Canada incident was funnier because of Kimi’s brilliant reaction – with that typical slow shake of the head we all do when been befuddled by ‘those youngsters’.

      But view the race, as a Hamilton fan, quite optimistic. Cut out the pit-stop error and he’s behind Max. Yes. He would never have overtaken him, but he would have kept him honest.

      And of course he’s got some of the good old fashioned circuits coming up.

      Baku gives us a great race, yet again and we all move on eagerly anticipating the next.

  2. A mistake is just that. Ofcause it will be analyzed. There are many anomalies that could have added to the mistake. Hand in wrong position. Button in wrong position. Switch design flaw. Lack of concentration etc. The greats will learn from their mistakes make necessary adjustments and overcome them. A 1 off mistake does not define some1. Rather its there to sharpen 1s resolve to do better be better. Lewis has bounced back many a time after a “mistake” mercs too.

    1. This is not a 1-off mistake though, and if hamilton wins the title by 40 points or less it’s already attributable to luck, this looks like a reversed 2016, where hamilton lost so many points due to bad luck and got within 5 points of the title.

      Reply moderated
  3. Well said Lewis.

  4. What? The biggest worrier on the grid claims he wasn’t worried…

    Reply moderated
    1. He’s not.

      No damage done. Prior to Max’s blow up he was losing another 10/11 points.

      Now he has circuits which suit Mercedes and their new engine looked like an upgrade, which saved them from been totally off the pace, due to Baku not been suited for them this season.

      Some seem to forget, that it’s only two races ago that he was able to do an extra stop and still win, such was his superiority.

      And in the past every time he’s made a daft error, he’s bounced back with interest.

  5. What’s the point of this story? Do the others start thinking about crash fears, and only Hamilton doesn’t? That seems extremely unlikely.

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