Hamilton ‘took the whole right-hand side off the car’ and ruined my race – Perez

2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez says Lewis Hamilton caused major damage to his car when the pair collided during the Belgian Grand Prix sprint race.

Hamilton was trying to pass his rival on the inside through Curbe Paul Frere. The pair made contact which caused damaged to the right-hand sidepod on Perez’s car.

“It was massive damage from the contact from Lewis,” said Perez. “He just took the whole right hand side off the car.

“He damaged the floor and the sidepod, so that that was game over – we lost too much grip with it.”

The pair went through the corner side-by-side but touched at the exit. “Basically he just, I think, ran out of grip and could not stop his car and just went onto the side of me and damaged my floor and that was very unfortunate,” said Perez.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Belgian Grand Prix sprint race in pictures
After the contact Perez struggled for grip, was passed by the Ferrari drivers and spun off at Stavelot. He had gained ground earlier in the race and believed he was in position to make up more places.

“It was looking great,” he said. “The team did a great strategy to recover, we were about to get Gasly just before the Safety Car came out. So, it was looking great but unfortunately it was just all too late.”

“I think he was in a bit of a hurry,” Perez added. “Everyone was in a hurry to recover today, it’s a very short race, you have to take those level of risks, but not nice to get my race ruined by him.”

Red Bull retired Perez late in the race. The stewards held Hamilton responsible for the collision and gave him a five-second time penalty which dropped him from fourth to seventh place.

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2023 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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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46 comments on “Hamilton ‘took the whole right-hand side off the car’ and ruined my race – Perez”

  1. Ruined your race? I thought your job was driving, instead you are out making jokes Sergio.

    You were already too slow post the safety car. Just get demoted to Alpha Tauri already!

    1. Sad that although in the same car, everyone expects max to win from behind. How is he still showing his face

  2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    29th July 2023, 18:04

    It was going so well the Ferrari’s and Hamilton caught him whilst he was dropping back from an Alpine.

    I have some questions.

  3. Based on the replays, saying that Hamilton “ran out of grip and could not stop his car and just went onto the side of” Perez is probably a fair way to put it.

    Hamilton will feel hard done by that he’s been penalised when he wasn’t trying to hit anyone – he was trying to make an overtake in the wet and got caught out by understeer.

    Perez for sure feels hard done by: he doesn’t always do well on these days, but that was a major hole in his car, and seeing Hamilton’s tyre marks on his engine must have been scary!

    1. Yeah, it did look like Hamilton was not completely in control of the car there, I was also surprised to see a penalty for what looked like just a moment.

      I guess Perez did not get his tyres fired up right away, but then the damage was just too much, and where he was there wasn’t any sense continuing anymore.

      1. If the understeer and spearing of Checo’s car was intentional or not, we’ll never known until mind reading is developed.
        But that is not the point at all.
        There was a collision and there was a guilty party for it, who got a perfectly deserved penalty.
        Intention has nothing to do with it.
        Well, maybe IF it was intentional and IF you could prove it (a very tall proposition) probably in that case the penalty should have been harder, even a black flag. But that’s quite beyond the point.

        1. Dealing out black flags would mean, that Verstappen would have been DSQed a lot in 2021.

        2. I agree that you can’t determine whether it was intentional, but you can use your common sense.

          Do remember that an occident like this had a good chance of ending Hamilton’s race, too. He was very lucky not to get a puncture from that. It would make no sense for Hamilton to risk ending his own race just to gain an extra point.

          Plus, while Hamilton is a great driver, I doubt even he has the skill to induce and control understeer that precisely.

    2. Looking at the overheads though. Perez and Lewis are squeezed up the right of the track, I’d say Perez didn’t leave enough space for the conditions and took himself out.

      1. Nope it’s 100% on Lewis like so many times before

        1. you seem to be a little biased against him.

      2. I agree, Perez shares some of the blame here. Hamilton was far enough alongside to be entitled to a car’s width, but Perez didn’t leave him that. In the wet, going over the kerb has a good chance of upsetting the car, which likely continued to the understeer he experienced on exit.

        This was very close to a 50/50 to me, possibly with a very slight tilt towards Hamilton. It’s virtually the definition of a racing incident.

  4. A penalty for Hamilton for this wasn’t justified imho. I am sure others won’t agree.

    1. @valkrider
      I like the way you state it, giving room for opinions and different views
      I think the penalty is justifies, he did understeer into an oponent, who he gave damage. I think it is a case of causing a collision.

      But I do sympathise for the ones who feel otherwise, we want hard, fair racing, and de touch was so minor…

      1. If you try to govern racing based on that everyone is going to give subtle taps on back wheels and sidepods and claim the touch was minor.
        A driver must be in control of the car.. and I think reducing the throttle would have prevented the hit.. so Lewis got a penalty he deserved and he has done this exact move numerous times so he knows exactly what he is doing.

        1. he was alongside and got squeezed by perez. so clearly cant be more than a racing incident. but the anti fans always see it differently.. maybe there is some red bull series for the ones like you, to watch and cheer

        2. Would have have been in control of his car if Perez had left him a car’s width, though, and he hadn’t been forced onto the wet, slippery kerb?

          If he would, then it’s Perez’ fault that he wasn’t in control.

  5. Grow some Pérez. When you can actually race your car and compete at a serious level, then you can complain.

  6. The 2019 racing point could fight for the championship in the hands of max, seeing that perez was equal with stroll in those years.

  7. Yes, in a racing incident.

  8. Another “unintended” understeer into an opponent by Lewis… Wow, he must be the champion of this as well.

    1. biased as always

    2. It’s a signature move for Lewis:

      1. signature move by RBR drivers to squeeze the car alongside on the inside line.

    3. Nico Rosberg knows all about being pushed off the track by Sir Lewis Hamilton. Maybe Perez should have a good chat with Nico?

      These sprint things are a farce!

  9. There have been many sidepod bumps over the years with minimal result. Unlike this.

    Perhaps RB need to beef theirs up a bit.

    1. How dare you use common sense?

  10. I really think Checo is running out of time to keep that seat next season, I know he has a contract but I doubt Red Bull care too much about that, if they want him out he’s out (just holding a cheque for the contract).

    Even without Daniel hovering about, I imagine Red Bull would be looking about anyway. Max is exceptional, no doubt, but the other Red Bull should be doing more. The only plus is that he doesn’t upset Max, and that’s only because he can’t. *Brasil excluded

  11. I feel a RB driver swap coming..,

  12. The whole right hand side lol.

    1. You can laugh all you want until you understand F1 aerodynamics

      1. I do not believe @dmw ‘s comments require any knowledge of F1 aerodynamics, just a rudimentary grasp of fractions.

  13. The question Pérez should be asking himself is why Hamilton was able to attempt an overtake in the first place.

    1. Agree. He was already dropping back. HAM shouldn’t have hit him but that car is a rocket and he was falling back from Gasly and Piastri. The other Red Bull finished 6 seconds ahead of 1 and 10 seconds ahead of the other. Meanwhile, PER was backing into HAM and the Ferarris. He needs to finish in 1st tomorrow or else RIC will be sitting in that car when racing returns after the break.

      1. Is the RB19 actually a rocket though? It is in the hands of Verstappen, but maybe he’s making that car look faster than it is.

        1. maybe he got different settings than perez. to me it looks like RBR wants to get rid of Perez by all means, since he dared to challenge verstappen in the begin of the year. RBR is a one driver team and only wants to have a B driver.

          1. No formula one team would purposefully hamper one of their two cars to keep the other driver happy. The WDC is already close to sealed, Max doesn’t need any help.

            Zero logical reason to assume this (surprisingly common) narrative.

            Differing setups could play a role, but that is driver/engineer input based. So part of Perez’s performance level overal. They reverted to Max’s setup in the past because Perez’s was just too slow when he was new to RBR.

  14. Watched the clips and I feel it was a racing incident, Perez did everything wrong for the contact to happen. He ran wide letting Lewis into the inside, then at the contact corner Perez was quite far to the right of the track squeezing Lewis into a narrow line that was always going to move to the outside. I feel Perez should have been more to the left and kept the faster outside line and Lewis would have had to back out eventually.

    1. It’s a signature Lewis move:

        1. @w0o0dy I am not entirely sure what you are peddling here. So a lot of LH’s crashes with other drivers occur on corners? I would be quite surprised if this were not the case for most drivers.

          Whilst it is subjective, whilst some of the incidents shown in that video would be wholly down to LH, others could easily be attributed to the other driver. Good wheel to wheel racing from one corner to the next (though sadly too rare) is what we all enjoy isn’t it. And for this to happen there needs to be drivers trying to overtake and drivers willing to give appropriate space.

          That said I am a little on the fence with todays penalty. I can see it from a letter of the law perspective, but it saddens me as a spectator. Such an incident is always possible in the wet, and it rather sends a message to “not bother trying” in my view.

          Also, I really doubt the penalty would have been awarded had the damage not been so dramatic, but that obviously should not be the deciding factor.

          1. I agree with both. Todays penalty was a bit harsh. But it is also Lewis’ signature move to understeer into some one (mostly a RB) in the heat of the moment and it had to be called out someday.

          2. @cairnsfella that poster is a known troll poster that spams multiple forums with posts about how much he hates Hamilton.

  15. If RBR’s design concept is to make the sidepod out of egg shells, why whine about it when there’s contact in that area? They’ve deliberately designed it that way for weight saving, but LH certainly isn’t responsible for the magnitude of the damage that occurred as it wasn’t a deliberate act. Here’s an idea, if you know you’re side structures are made out of cheese, either don’t get in close proximity to other drivers, or don’t blame other competitors when said damage ends your race.

  16. Both great drivers! But—if you simply look at the replay of the “F1 Sprint Highlights on Youtube” at the 3:52 mark, you will see Lewis has also slide or “driven to the far left side of the track.” Lewis simply lost control of his car, and hit Perez. Even after his first contact with RB, Lewis continued to slide (or drive) to the extreme far left, pushing Perez off of the race track at that 3:52 point, of the F1 Sprint Highlight’s on Youtube.

    1. But if you look only moments before, Perez doesn’t leave enough space on the inside of the corner, forcing Hamilton onto the wet, slippery kerb.

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