Fernando Alonso, Alpine, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Stewards take no action against Hamilton after ruling Alonso clash was a “first-lap incident”

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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The stewards took no action against Lewis Hamilton for his collision on the opening lap with Fernando Alonso after ruling it was a “first-lap incident.”

The Mercedes and Alpine pair tangled at Les Combes moments after the start. The pair shared the second row of the grid and immediately got ahead of Sergio Perez.

As they reached the Kemmel straight Hamilton drew alongside Alonso on the outside. He was ahead of the Alpine as they turned in to Les Combes, but although Alonso reached the inside of the corner the pair made contact.

Hamilton’s car was launched into the air and landed heavily. Both continued, but Hamilton reported he had “damage somewhere” and was told to stop due to a loss of water pressure. “I’m so sorry guys,” he said before getting out.

Alonso, who was able to continue, fumed at his rival on the radio. “What an idiot,” he said. “Closed the door from the outside. I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive starting first.”

However the stewards ruled neither driver was responsible for the collision. After reviewing video footage of the collision they deemed it typical of the kind of incident which can happen on the first lap of a race.

“Alonso was on the inside at turn five,” the stewards noted. “Hamilton’s front wheels were ahead of Alonso’s at the entry to the corner. Alonso moved his car off-line to the inside with both right side tyres fully on the kerb and even somewhat inside the kerb.

“At no point did Alonso appear to lose control or understeer. Hamilton turned into towards the apex of the corner with Alonso still along side and the collision occurred.

“The stewards considered that this was a first lap incident with a lot of movement relative to other cars in the first few corners, and thus take no further action.”

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2022 Belgian 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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33 comments on “Stewards take no action against Hamilton after ruling Alonso clash was a “first-lap incident””

  1. I know it’s the heat of the moment to call other drivers idiots and stupid and what not. But the latter part of Alonso’s radio shows he’s still bitter about the past.

  2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    28th August 2022, 15:35

    Hamilton knew it was on him, he’s fortunate to escape without even a reprimand but then that’s not unusual for first lap coming togethers.

    1. It’s not unusual for Hamilton, the difference here is that he and his supporters can’t blame Max in this one.

      1. It’s interesting how Lewis has been in a few incidents this year similar to last year, while Max has had none.

        1. Reason being Max has the most penalty points this year and has to tread very gingerly. Plus he’s had a such a dominant car and Ferrari being so shambolic he is not under anywhere near the pressure he was subject to last year.

          1. He was dominant in Spa but in nearly every race before that Leclerc has been within a tenth or two, or faster, so I don’t think that is correct. He has also had plenty of wheel to wheel battles and overtakes without incident. We aren’t talking Merc hybrid era here where nobody could get near him.

  3. If it were any other lap, it would have been a penalty without any doubt.

    1. Another lap, another driver or another team would’ve bought a shiny penalty. This was Maldo-stupid

  4. ALO spot on

  5. Ridiculous. What’s the difference between such an incident on the first lap, and on any other lap? I can perhaps understand a degree of leniency at the first few corners where cars are spread throughout the track (although the drivers should themselves be making concessions), but nobody was near Hamilton or Alonso. Nothing unique to a first lap affected what Hamilton did.

    Just another entry in the endless list of stewarding inconsistency.

    1. What’s the difference between such an incident on the first lap, and on any other lap?

      Liberty and the teams have convinced the FIA to treat first laps differently. That’s all there is to it, and the FIA and their part-time stewards are happy to go along with it instead of enforcing the FIA Code and F1 Sporting Regulations.

  6. even a blind ape can see alonso oversteering and sliding into lewis, but the dumbness of the anti fans here is beyond facts of course. everyone can easily see in Alonsos onboard that his steering angle is far to the left prior to contact.

    1. Delusional.

    2. how immensely ironic

    3. In years to come as you mature you’ll cringe with embarrassment as you recall some of comments you made on this site. Hamilton admitted he was 100% to blame for the incident.

      1. as was Magnussen, when orange Ham anti fans still blamed Lewis. Stupidity of Verstappen clan taking over what used to be motorsports.

        1. This has got nothing to do with it. Yes Lewis can also make mistakes and can even admit them, if you love Lewis so much let him, in this case, be an example for you.

    4. @romtrain even a blind ape, lol that cracked me up 🤣😂

    5. WOW. just wow.

    6. @RomTrain
      I see you have found your way back to fantasy Island again. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

  7. Was it a first lap incident? I mean it’s not like the pack was all close together and movements happen and you end up squeezing someone. This was a one on one move… I don’t like penalties for everything, but the argument for not imposing one here don’t work for me.

    1. @fer-no65
      That seems like a fair sentiment to me. The “first lap incident”-card can be drawn on a lot of tracks where there are multiple corners shortly after the start. But this incident was after 23 seconds of uninterrupted full throttle

    2. @fer-no65 well, it was an incident, and it was the first lap, so I guess considering it a “first lap incident” is technically correct (the best kind of correct). Other than that, I still don’t understand what Hamilton was trying to do and he can consider himself lucky he didn’t get a grid penalty for Zandvoort.

    3. @fer-no65

      The pack was still reasonably bunched by the time they reached the corner, so in this instance, whilst very fortunate for Hamilton I do agree in it being a first lap incident, especially considering it ended Hamilton’s race.

      1. @maddme I still think he’s lucky he didn’t get a grid penalty for next race. The pack was bunched up (sort of) but there was no one else compromising his line or anything. It was a 2 driver battle.

  8. Really Hamilton’s penalty was having to retire the car. If only Mercedes had installed the wings upside down and Hamilton could have flown above the track for 44laps….Diddy Kong racing style.

    1. Supposedly the outcome is not related to the penalty.

      1. Used to be. When a driver does something stupid and takes themselves out of the race with inflicting significant damage on the other car– “no action warranted” used to be a common phrase. And by “used to be” I mean 5-10 years ago.

  9. Such a weird one. It’s strange that Lewis said Fernando was in his blind spot. Surely if you can’t see the car you’ve just passed, it has to be beside you? It was such a rookie move to sweep in so aggressively. I’m surprised it was Lewis making such a move. He’s much better than that. On to the next one I suppose…

    1. But how far over was Alonso, and what line was he on?

      Visibility in these cars, especially to the side and back, is terrible, and the mirrors have a very limited range of coverage.

      1. Karts disallow rear view mirrors, but SA is still not a big problem. You keep track of where people are. Hamilton is not washed up, and for sure knew Alonso was there, as not seeing him meant he /had/ to be in the blind spot. The “blind spot” comment is clearly just a human nature thing to say to take a little edge off of the fault.

        He made a big mistake, owned it, and just tried to soften it a bit.

        1. Not really a fair comparison. In karting the drivers can turn their heads to see around them, which helps to make up for the absense of mirrors. F1 drivers can barely turn their heads to look to the side because of the padding around them, so they’re very reliant on their mirrors for anything not in front of them and within their peripheral vision.

  10. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
    28th August 2022, 17:57

    Not sure if it’s an error on the FIA’s part, but if you read the decision document (number 65) it does in fact state that Hamilton was guilty of the offence. It just declines to take any further action, which is unusual. (They may have felt his retirement served as natural justice but I’m struggling to think of any precedent where the stewards find an offence was committed but offered not even a warning as sanction)

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