Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

Hamilton’s pit wall crash “not what you expect from a champion”

2021 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton apologised to his team after a costly error in the pits ended his chances of taking pole position for the Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver skidded into the barrier at the pit lane entrance during Q3, delaying his final run and also holding up team mate Valtteri Bottas, who had to wait behind him in the pits.

“It was just a mistake from myself,” Hamilton told Sky. “Ultimately I’m incredibly disappointed in myself.

Hamilton had run strongly in Q1 and Q2 and was a contender for pole position going into the final round of qualifying.

“Up until then, I was in a groove. I was really in the zone. I’m really sorry for all the team that are here and people back to the factory because obviously that’s not what do you expect from a champion.

“But it is what it is. I’ll do my best tomorrow to try and rectify it.”

He compounded his mistake with a spin during his final qualifying lap when he nudged another barrier. That left him fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

“It was horrible at the end,” he said. “Very poor grip, very slippery when you don’t have any temp and I was losing temperature during the lap. Twice in the wall, that’s very rare for me.”

Lando Norris took a surprise pole position for the race. Hamilton will line up behind the Mclaren driver, Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari and George Russell’s Williams.

“The guys out front have got good pace and it definitely won’t be easy,” he said. “I’m just going to say my prayers and hope that the car can be fixed and it’s hopefully okay for tomorrow.

“These things are sent to try us. I feel terrible right now, but I’ll turn it into a positive and try and do the best. But you’ve got to Brit on pole, which is which is great so congrats to Lando.”

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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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49 comments on “Hamilton’s pit wall crash “not what you expect from a champion””

  1. Indeed. A rookie error at 60 kph.

    1. So both 7-times WDCs have done a driving error in that speed now.

      1. Errr?! What about 2007 China?

        Reply moderated
      2. Ahh, guess you mean rascasse in 2006.

    2. just the nerves i think he is getting older…

  2. The presure of a titlefight is something he didnt experience in the last years. So that might now be something that puts him on edge. With rosberg he was like this too. It gets to him. Unlike with max who keeps his cool it seems

    1. In his fights with Rosberg it was a bit different.
      He oftentimes started the season very slow before he came into the groove.
      At the end of 2016 he didn’t make any mistakes, it was just that Rosberg didn’t make any either and knew that 2nd places would be enough to get hired by Sky.

      1. He did make mistakes at the end of 2016 (after the summer break at least).
        Very poor starts in Monza and Suzuka and an overall bad weekend in Singapore.
        After Suzuka, Rosberg only needed 3×2nd and 1×3rd places to take the title, that’s why he wasn’t really bothered to fight Hamilton during those last 4 races and Hamilton drove unchallenged.

        1. In 2016 he also crashed in Baku in qualifying.

    2. LOL! You mean Max’s pointless attack last week?

      And given he had a big league did he really have to defend so aggressively at Silverstone.

      Max has been the better driver, this year. But unless you have a poor rival (ie like Hamilton had with Massa in 2008) been cool and strategic is far more important than a few errors

  3. I guess the pressure of fighting hard for a championship really is something else :)

  4. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    25th September 2021, 15:10

    Baku- 25 points
    Hungary- 7 points
    Russia (assuming P2 tomorrow)- 7 points

    Predicting at least one more Mercedes masterfail in the coming races.

    These 39 or more opportunistic points lost will come back to bite Lewis and Mercedes in the end.

    1. For ves: 25 points baku
      25 points silverstone
      17 points hungary
      18 points monza

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        25th September 2021, 15:25

        Why would you drag Ves into an article based on Hamilton? Please take your comment to the appropriate forum.

        1. Because the championship fight was against Luca Badoer I guess

          1. Hey, he lost points from a mechanical failure too.

        2. Because you are listing Hamilton’s points lost, like he’s only one losing them.

      2. anyway most of these lost points are Max’s misfortune, not his fault

        1. I think TB must regret the penalty for New engine. MV would probably have fastest lap and would be ahead of LH.

          1. He’s good in the wet but it’s not a given, there’s been wet qualis where red bull was off, in nowadays’ formula the car matters too in the wet, the hungary quali I’m talking about toro rosso was even faster than red bull!

            If he had to replace the engine it made sense to do it at a track where mercedes was expected to be very strong, what happened in the end of quali is some sort of luck, but mercedes still have all the tools to get back to the front, so verstappen needs to do good damage limitation.

    2. Monza also multiple mistakes compounding to 25 point loss. If he didn’t goof up the start of sprintrace he would have sailed to a Grand Chelem.

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        25th September 2021, 15:29

        Monza well, I didn’t consider the crash into the equation. These are points he had in his hand and threw away.

    3. I agree with you here: these lost points will prove costly (albeit the Russian GP has been run yet!).

  5. This championship is Lewis’ to lose and he knows it. Mostly through bad luck, Max wasn’t ahead by 50pts before Silverstone.

    Since Silverstone, Lewis drives the best car again.
    Hungary should have been his, Spa should have been his, Monza too.

  6. If only he had a couple more years of experience to help deal with the pressure… Hueheeehe

    1. Yeah, not the first time Hamilton’s mind games comments on pressure towards Max backfired on him, he made similar comments before Monaco and Lewis did brilliantly that weekend.

  7. The ego is still intact I guess

  8. Better focus on your driving Lewis, instead of playing those mind games. The number of mistakes is getting silly now.

    1. @tony667 Yeah but he’s still only 5 points behind Max who’s according to most been ultra-consistent, extremely quick, and has a very fast car. It’s kind of like stumbling and falling and then winning the 1500 meter run.

      1. Well knocking your opponent into the barriers and then have your teammate play a bowling bowl helped having that gap at only 5 instead of more like 35-40 points, not even mentioning Baku.

        1. @jelle-van-der-meer sorry buddy, but that’s kind of blaming Messi for a foul that Ramos commits ;-) These were Max’s mistakes so yeah he deserved to lose points and to be honest with you, it would have been great Lewis had taken points at Monza. No excuses…

          1. Ah yeah the tyre going at Baku and Bottas bowling a strike at Hungary were Max’s mistakes. Hmmmmm

          2. @hsvdt15 Baku and Hungary were unfortunate for Max but he had plenty of chances to recover at Silverstone, Monza, and Zandvoort. He was great at Zandvoort.

        2. Does Max never make any errors, in your eyes?

      2. Sifan Hassan focussed on running, not mind games;)

  9. Yeah, no excuses. It was a terrible quali from Lewis with 2 mistakes but he did put a monster lap with the inters that at least got him P4 and had Sainz, Norris, Russell not gotten lucky with track conditions, he would have easily held pole.

    We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow. P1 is not ideal here anyway but I’m pretty sure P4 isn’t better:-) P3 maybe.

    1. Sainz, Norris and Russell did not get lucky with the conditions. The conditions were the same for everybody but Hamilton failed to take advantage of the drying track through two mistakes of his own.

      1. Lucky in the sense that the gamble paid off and the track had improved.

  10. It’s only Saturday. Pace advantage levels things out within 15 laps. Easy Merc 1-2

    1. Yeah if the conditions are good, then both Mercs are really fast and its a easy 1-2.

      Reply moderated
  11. I will understand if all of a sudden he is feeling a bit unwell. :)

    1. Hahahaaa yeah, suddenly tomorrow he will reveal there was something in his eye, or that he still feels long Covid

  12. Does Parc fermé allow teams to fix suspension if damaged?

    Reply moderated
  13. F1 medias Double standard shown towards Lewis in F1:
    Every other driver crashes- “wow he is pushing the car to the limit, all hail driver”
    Lewis crashes – “OMG the ghetto thug crashed what a joke”

    reality check,pressure is getting to Lewis? how? LEW is only 5 points behind MAX in the wdc race and on the 2nd row of the grid for tomorrows race

    I’m sick of the repulsive dog whistling david croft types who get enjoyment seeing Lewis make mistakes, a mistake made by any other driver on the grid does not get the intense scrutiny the held-to-an-higher-standard Lewis does but i guess a small minority hate LEW so much they relish in his small mistakes..

    1. You have made this all up. Don’t lie. Your supposed double standard is your invention. Nobody would comments Verstappen for “pushing the limit” if he had crashed in the pitlane. Stop that.

    2. @ccpbioweapon Yeah, Lewis really was pushing the car to its limits…in the pitlane.

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