Oscar Piastri, McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2023

“Sportsmanlike” Hamilton is only driver who owns up to errors – Wolff

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff praises Lewis Hamilton for admitting his error while battling with Oscar Piastri in yesterday’s race.

In brief

Hamilton “very sportsmanlike” about incidents – Wolff

Hamilton’s willingness to accept when he’s made a mistake marks him out among other drivers, said Wolff. “He’s very sportsmanlike with these things,” he said. “He is the only one that I see out there admitting, saying, he got this wrong.

“We just had a chat, he [said he] didn’t see him on the right and it goes on [him]. And I think that kind of sportsmanship is what you need to admire with him. Pretty much everyone [else] is always complaining and moaning just to try to not get a penalty.”

Wolff said he had no complaint about Hamilton’s penalty. “That was Lewis’ mistake,” he said. “I think a five-second penalty for that is it what the menu says. These things happen, it’s hard racing. You’ve got to overtake here and seen a few of these. So it’s justifiable.”

Prema fined over Bearman’s father’s pit crossing

Prema have been fined after Oliver Bearman’s father crossed the pit lane while a car was approaching during Formula 2’s feature race at Monza yesterday. The team must pay €2,000, with an additional €8,000 suspended for the rest of this season.

Television pictures showed David Bearman was almost hit by Joshua Mason’s car while walking across towards the pit wall.

“While it is clear that Mr Bearman was not an operational team member of Prema Racing, this is still a breach of the sporting regulations and the team must at all times control who is present on their pit wall,” read the stewards’ report, after Bearman won the race for Prema. “A significant portion of this fine has been suspended to discourage a recurrence of a similar incident.”

Prema were fined the same amount a week earlier at Zandvoort for sending Frederik Vesti’s car out of the pits without properly securing its rear wheels, which then fell off.

Zandvoort flashback helps Pourchaire keep his cool in Monza

Theo Pourchaire said painful memories from Zandvoort helped him finish on the podium in Monza to extend his Formula 2 championship lead. The ART driver came third while title rival Frederik Vesti crashed out. Pourchaire now leads the standings by 25 points with 39 left available.

It comes a week after the Sauber junior blew his chances of a podium in Zandvoort as he crashed at turn seven, which played on his mind in yesterday’s feature race.

“Overall I’m pretty happy because it’s a huge day for the championship,” said Pourchaire. “I didn’t want to do like I did in Zandvoort, a huge mistake. I had a great opportunity today once again to outscore Vesti by a lot of points, so I did it.”

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Comment of the day

Lando Norris’ disclosure about the back pain he has experienced since Formula 1’s current generation of rules were introduced provoked some concern:

Hopefully the FIA takes this seriously and has a look at what’s going on. If it’s a very specific problem with the cars, that’s something that’ll need to be addressed.

But it could also just be a Norris problem. Some people unfortunately run into these problems, and especially when you’re involved in high level physical activities that can be a limitation. Countless athletes have to end their careers because of physical issues and the problems that continuing to strain themselves poses. Not infrequently the activity itself is so demanding that it takes a toll on a person’s body at a relatively young age.

Pretty much every speed skater has back problems because they’re always wringing themselves into an uncomfortable pose, and no physiotherapist has ever recommended people start running actual full length marathons.

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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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66 comments on ““Sportsmanlike” Hamilton is only driver who owns up to errors – Wolff”

  1. Lewis is classy like that. And Oscar accepting it was cool too.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      4th September 2023, 1:22

      @zann yes well said – piastri was classy in his acceptance

  2. I did not hear him apologize at Silverstone 2021.

    1. Cause Max cut his line and crashed? He wasnt fully to blame for that incident.

      1. Well, he got a bigger penalty then than what he did yesterday.

  3. Personally I’m kinda getting sick of Mercedes and Red Bull complimenting their drivers by insulting others. Yes, Lewis did own up and it’s good that he did. But he sure isn’t the first one to do so and combined with his comment on Max’ ten consecutive victories the remark that Lewis is the only one to do so just leave a sour taste.
    It’s great to support team members, it’s shitty sportsmanship to do it by taking down others.

    1. @Axel the crapshoot score card is

      100,000 Redbull & co
      1 Mercedes & co

      The amount Bullshit (pun intended) that comes out of of certain people,driver, familes should have given you a firm grasp of when you should been sick.

      And you dear Axel choose to be sick now!
      I’am going to look for porcelin contained container with flushfunctionality deserving your post. Goodnight

      1. No I am not sick of it now, I’ve been quite annoyed with it for a while now but chose to comment about it at this point. I agree that RB has been doing the same, as mentioned in my original comment. I am not keeping score about who does what, but simply annoyed by the behaviour of people in a position that people look up to, especially as it can influence how others might handle their rivalry and how they respect each others achievements.

        It’s really sad that some people don’t give Max the credit he deserves for winning 10 races in a row. Just like it is sad that some people aren’t giving Lewis the credit he deserves for being the most successful driver in history based on championships and race wins

        1. Can you really expect Merc to be quiet though when redbull constantly stoke he flames including multiple (both public and private character assassination attempts)
          They are on another level look on and of the track with their hypocrisy and fingers in their ears when it suits them

          1. Sigh…
            No I don’t appoint Mercedes as ‘the guilty party’ and I understand their response. That is why I say that I am tired of this mud throwing from BOTH teams. If you cannot let any slight go you end up in this vicious cycle of insults which looks bad on everyone.
            At the moment I think BOTH teams are behaving like childish and sore losers. The only difference being that this time it’s Red Bull that is winning on track.

      2. Well said!! The hypocrisy and double standards consistently displayed by Red Bull, Horner, Verstappen, et al, seems to infect their supporters.

    2. Its the media dummy.

      They ask a question, you reply, they spin, and the public takes affront to the answer seen without the question.
      This is kind of understanding is a prerequisite to anything you see ‘reported’.

    3. from as a neutral perspective as possible, Marco is the champion of manure stirring in the paddock. Merc’s comments are quite salty, but nothing RBR could ever complain about.

    4. @Axel:
      Your neutral statement proved to be self fulfilling. I don’t know why but almost all of the replies seem hellbent on proving you are right. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad

  4. Yes indeed he is.

    The number of times Lewis has caused offence compared to other drivers, or used swear words, attacked other drivers, talked ill about them or used racial slurs against anyone is remarkably low and when you factor in time within F1 it becomes crazy how much hate he gets for having Angela hold his umbrella.

    I just cant put my finger on it. There must some nuance to Ham that i am missing for this to be.

    1. I just cant put my finger on it. There must some nuance to Ham that i am missing for this to be.

      I think I’m managing to “miss” the same nuance ;)

    2. Haha!

      I think it’s the same ‘nuance’ that saw large swathes of Americans criticise Barack Obama because he had the audacity to wear a beige suit.

      1. I think it’s the same ‘nuance’ that saw large swathes of Americans criticise Barack Obama because he had the audacity to wear a beige suit.

        Absolute truth!!

      2. I thought it was because they’re both known by the number 44.

    3. Let me try to explain (or at least what I suspect). To a lot of Verstappen fans (and maybe other non-Mercedes/Hamilton fans) the words and demeanor of Lewis come across as insincere, and calculated, while what Toto says must be a lie to begin with. In the mind of these people Mercedes has fabricated lies on an almost industrial scale, from sandbagging in testing, to saying “this is the best circuit and crowd, it was a tough race” every week after winning a 1-2 with a 30 second gap to number 3, to saying sorry for ramming another racer off track but not when it was Verstappen. Whether it’s true or not, is not even important anymore, and neither is if Horner, Marko, Verstappen, Brown or Steiner are any better. And it works the other way around too. Whatever Horner says is equally perceived as a lie by a lot of people even before it leaves his mouth.

      I’d like to add that today there is much attention in the dutch press about the comments Lewis made about the team mates of Verstappen and that they weren’t much of a challenge so Verstappen had it easy and Toto’s remarks that ten in a row was something he really didn’t even know about until last week and that these stats were only for Wikipedia and nobody reads that stuff anyway. These remarks are missing in the round-up and that alone gives these fans more reason to believe Mercedes and Hamilton are really sore losers and there’s an anti Verstappen bias in the british media.

      1. Toto’s remarks that ten in a row was something he really didn’t even know about until last week and that these stats were only for Wikipedia and nobody reads that stuff anyway.

        Not having had the opportunity to watch Fangio his run of 9 starts to wins wasn’t something that I had in my memory banks, although as Toto noted – it is there on Wikipedia.

        The regular references to AD 2021 seem to be introduced to wind people up. For what it’s worth, to my knowledge there is one single Hamilton fan at work of a sizable number of people and all of them, including the MV fan, were majorly annoyed with what Massi did simply because it was not right.

    4. Out of the current field I would say Lewis is about the only one that talks others down while talking himself up. The new generation doesn’t seem to bother with this ancient antic (luckily so) and work in good harmony. It is refreshing to see these new drivers and makes me wish Lewis would just leave since he (+ Toto + Horner + Marko) kind of spoil the party (not for the media though, they would be nowhere without these 4 clowns characters). On the other hand I can see Lewis added value racing wise given his talent. And I can also see this new generation rather makes fun of him than take his comments seriously. They know how he is by now.

  5. Yep, Hamilton is never complaining and moaning. Or maybe the media only broadcast/mention it when he does and not ever when other drivers do it.


  6. Not really true, Charles Leclerc tends to fess up about his mistakes almost too much. A few others are pretty honest too – Norris, Ricciardo – while there are some who seem to think admitting a mistake is a weakness. Probably best not to list them.

    1. Haha, nailed it. Leclerc is the master apologists of F1!

    2. @david-br Agreed. I think Toto was trying to make a reasonable point (Lewis apologised, and in the F1 paddock it is far from guaranteed such will happen even when the fault is universally agreed to all be with one driver) and dramatically overstated its strength, which resulted in him saying something obviously wrong.

  7. If you make so called “mistakes” and got no meaningful penalty and keep scoring points, it is easy to apologize and own them. I am sure all drivers will accept this way racing as long as it benefits them. I wonder if LH started to get drive through penalties and points in his license as well as looses many many points due to this real penalties, he won’t be that honest to accept them. We know when things does not go LH’s way he starts complaining pretty fast. Also Toto going out to make a comment on This issue shows what it is really about ; damage limitation so they don’t get more penalties in the future … business usual is working for them…

    1. Cam, this is unfortunately not always true. Michael Schumacher had an outright policy of never admitting – or even registering – that he’d made a mistake on track, and there appear to be at least some drivers who have continued that part of his legacy. It’s hard to know who is doing it for that reason and who’s doing it because they would have done so anyway.

  8. I think all drivers apologise, when it’s so obvious they are at fault. I’ve seen Verstappen apologise to Vettel in China 2017, to Ricciardo in 2017. I’ve seen Vettel apologise to Hamilton after Baku, and after he crashed into Verstappen in Silverstone.

    I’ve seen Alonso apologise to Hamilton for calling him an idiot, and I have seen so many other drivers apologise for doing something stupid.

    Since we lost Niki Lauda, Toto isn’t held back in saying ridiculous things, and it’s getting worse and worse.

    Could have congratulated RedBull on breaking an anchient record, but instead he says:
    “Numbers are only for wikipedia, but nobody reads that anyway”
    Makes him look like a sore loser to me.

    1. While VER may have apologized after the 2018 Chinese GP (I don’t recall when & for what he apologized to RIC in 2017), he certainly didn’t apologize to GRO after rear-ending him in the 2015 Monaco GP & falsely claiming he brake-tested, which was proven incorrect by Lotus telemetry.
      I also don’t recall when ALO apologized for calling an idiot, so that must’ve happened long ago.

      1. Spa 2022 was not that long ago.
        Verstappen drove into Ricciardo at Hungary in 2017.

        There are lots of occasions where drivers didn’t apologise, goes for Lewis aswell, but Toto mentioned that most drivers wouldn’t, so I gave a few examples.

        1. But that isn’t how the internet works: every article and comment must include a dig at somebody; you cannot just list some positive things.

        2. That guy
          Yes, I recall their opening lap incident in Hungary, but I don’t recall him apologizing for that & nothing particular concerning him happened in last season’s Belgian GP, which he won from a low starting position.

          1. Edit: I mixed up drivers for the 2022 Belgian GP, so the reference was actually about the HAM-ALO opening lap collision.

  9. Just a thought on the Hamilton Piastri clash…
    Perhaps FIA needs to revisit these penalties from different perspective. There is no doubt that Lewis was in the wrong and he rightly apologized,but the penalty for his mistake does seem a bit lenient at least in hindsight. To be fair to the stewards, i think what Lewis got was a standard 5 second penalty. Where i believe this can be tweaked a little bit is by taking a bit of context and other factors like timing, corner etc. The effect of a 5 second penalty on (say) lap 10 is quite different from the same penalty being dished out with 10 laps to go; in the same way and not quite proportionally, the effect of getting into a clash and suffering consequences because of another driver’s mistake on lap 10 is so vastly different from the same happening the closing stages of a race. Perhaps there is a case to be made for a dynamic penalty system. Yes, there is complexity and subjectivity involved but we can start somewhere.

    1. I’d rather see a grid drop penalty instead of a time penalty. Time penalties can be overly harsh too, remember Sainz in Australia? But yes, time penalties are usually meaningless..specially for the top teams.

  10. Apologizing for his lack of spatial awareness was good.

    Sainz at least did what Leclerc & Norris didn’t, but still, he should’ve taken note of their incidents by avoiding using an expensive watch in public sight or at least made sure no one could get within touching reach of it.

    COTD: I wholly hope his situation won’t have any long-term implications.

    1. Apologizing for his lack of spatial awareness was good.

      I don’t think it was a spatial awareness issue. I think he expected Piastri to do what most (all other?) rookies do, and back off/steer clear.
      Other people have had similar clashes with Piastri as they individually learn that he’s been trained by Webber to never back down.

      Piastri is a coming talent. Just waiting for him in equal machinery to Max and Max expecting the back-down, sparks will fly.

      1. Piastri was level with Hamilton going into the braking zone. His only option at that point was to drive straight onto the grass in anticipation of Hamilton moving across. No racing driver would do that. He could also have braked super early and just given Hamilton the position before the corner, but why would he make the pass any easier for him? Forcing him to brake on the inside line and compromise his exit was the sensible move, since he could have got it wrong, locked up etc and given Piastri a chance to fight back. This wasn’t a 50/50 situation where one driver had to back down, they were side by side coming into the corner and both had room and should have made it through cleanly. Nothing Piastri should do differently here.

        1. Piastri a lap or two earlier was on the inside and pushed Hamilton off in the same corner, along himself. Piastri and some select other rookies drive unnecessarily aggresive when racing against ham alo but more lenient other times. It s almost trying to prove/assert themselves Max like. Being aggressive is one thing, but risking it all? Seriously? Ham almost always backs out of those situation and live another day to fight. Why can’t other drivers be the same? Oh yeah max factor, and getting away with it. Piastri forced ham off in earlier lap got unpunished, ham forced him to be off but he stuck his nose still instead of lifting and he knew well ham would take the racing line and forced the crash. In my opinion, his previous laps incident should have been noted and warned him that would make him think twice. Sainz took the same path in the. Same corner and perez yielded and fought another day. Just some drivers doing unnecessary aggresive driving to prove themselves in the wrong ways against wrong people.

        2. Nothing Piastri should do differently here

          Except, perhaps, do what Hamilton did the lap before on the same corner and avoid the collision?

          1. @SteveP
            I think you should rewatch both situations… I did
            you are defending Lewis and attacking Oscar too much….
            On lap 40 Oscar left nearly about 1,5 cars width for Lewis on the entry of turn 4, where Lewis left way! less than 1 for Oscar on lap 41. Both situation well broadcasted and caomparable on the live feed even
            It is about the entry of turn 4, not what happens after that, because that is where Oscar got squeezed

    2. @jerejj These drivers have a contract to wear that brand’s watches in public, and the brand in question simply doesn’t have a cheap/non-desirable option.

  11. Well, I’m the only one not talking about Hamilton, but…

    “A significant portion of this fine has been suspended to discourage a recurrence of a similar incident.”

    Wouldn’t it be more discouraging to impose the full fine (10 grand)? You will then know if you make it again, you’ll pay another 10 grand plus possible recidivism extra.

    1. I did think the same. I don’t see the logic.

    2. @diezcilindros It’s possible that the stewards believe Prema as an organisation will recognise the fact it received any penalty at all meant it needs to make sure it does not happen again, and that it is specific people on its wall (in this case David Bearman) who need to have the point of the penalty emphasised.

      My suspicion is that the stewards are trying to imply to Prema that it ought to charge the $2000 to the David Bearman directly, rather than swallow the fine into their own budget. Yes, the team should have been in charge of the people on its wall, but since it is likely David broke a rule Prema gave him in the first place, encouraging internal discipline in this way (thus focusing the penalty on the one who most needs to avoid future errors) may outweigh the punitive effect of levying the whole penalty.

      Note that F1 limits how big an individual fine to a driver can be to $1000 because it was set at a time when not all teams paid all fines on a driver’s behalf, and it was recognised that some of them (the pay drivers…) didn’t have a huge amount of money. It probably should not be surprising if F2 remembered that the parents of drivers who haven’t started earning a professional wage yet are not guaranteed to have the same access to funds as teams are assumed to do. Many racing driver dads would simply not be able to pay a full $10,000, but $2,000 is more manageable for a greater proportion of them, which would give Prema more confidence to charge the offender rather than pay it on behalf.

      1. Also, suspending part of it makes sense in this context for two connected reasons:

        a) internal discipline simply can’t have improved enough if there’s a repeat, so putting in an automatic extra penalty makes sense and also allows the total fine to exceed the standard maximum fine by the amount that got suspended (so it can be billed $58,000 instead of the usual maximum of $50,000).

        b) it formally records that Prema was told to sort itself out and (if the stewards need to review this again) failed. So that will be listed as an aggravating factor in any sporting penalties that are issued in the event of a repeat.

  12. Lol, absolute nonsense. It’s all situational, but I’m sure all the fanboys will agree with Toto.

  13. I wonder if Toto is talking about Russel with that comment.

    1. @anunaki I believe he is talking about several people with that comment.

  14. I suppose that confirms Russell’s apology to Bottas after Imola 2021 was forced upon him by the higher ups at Mercedes. Not very classy of Wolff to expose his driver like this.

  15. From a drivers perspective, owning up to your mistake, which can happen to the best, an apologies is sportsmanship. But this is something which most drivers do. But for a Team Principal to highlight it, it’s more of a PR stunt as this is not something unique to Hamilton. Oscar and McLaren lost valuable points due to that error. Do Zak Brown or any other Team Principal prefer champions points or a sportsman like apology everytime such errors happen to their drivers?

    1. Do you remember max and Mick at Silverstone last year? Mick never lost those valuable points because he drove smartly to avoid doing exactly that

      1. @1abe Max didn’t it though, and he never apologised for forcing Mick to take extreme action to avoid collision. That would be the analogy here.

  16. Give me a brake… Ruins other driver’s race and profits from it. Same as GB 2021 race.

  17. Mercedes talks off track, other teams talk on track…

  18. I’ve heard Leclerc bash himself way more than ever needed and Vettel own up to more of his own mistakes than anyone else. Considerably more than Hamilton. Suggesting he’s “the only one” that owns up to his mistakes is a lie. But then again he does believe his team doesn’t make them, so I guess in that environmental delusion you can’t own up to a mistake that never happened.

  19. It’s really just a clumsy remark by Wolff I think. He could have said (and I think what he really meant to say) that Lewis always owns up to his mistakes and leave it there. Sure, people (examples above) would say Lewis is fast to say sorry but ruined the race for Oscar, but it would have been fine. But then he goes on and adds that no other driver does that, and that’s where he disputes other drivers’ sportsmanship and integrity. Pretty easy to refute and thus a pretty stupid thing to say

  20. It’d be more classy not to make those “mistakes” though. They happen too often for such an experience driver, I’d expect his level of awareness to be much higher. As well as in practice sessions, where he almost never cares to check his mirrors.

    1. I am not sure whether it is realistic to expect his awareness to be bigger. I would say its been fairly consistent throughout his career. He just had a lot of years where it was irrelevant since not needed. But in the years he drove a less dominant car and had to do more wheel to wheel action he regularly ended up in similar situations. Vettel is even a better example of this.

  21. “Hamilton’s willingness to accept when he’s made a mistake marks him out among other drivers, said Wolff.”
    That’s the last thing I would say about a driver who once deliberately misled the stewards with false statements.

    1. Sportsmanlike is definitely not a right word to use in context of Lewis either. I think he has proven many times to be rather the opposite. Great driver, enormous talent but not gracious in defeat and one who feels the necessity to bring others down while talking himself up.

  22. Hahaha, irony

    Toto really is a clown … complete toxic human being.

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