Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Losail International Circuit, 2023

Hamilton accepts Russell had ‘nowhere to go’ in crash after blaming him on radio

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton said he does not hold his team mate responsible for the collision between the pair which put him out at the start of the Qatar Grand Prix.

Hamilton exclaimed “I got taken out by my team mate” after tangling with George Russell at the first corner in today’s race. But speaking to media including RaceFans afterwards Hamilton took responsibility for the collision.

The Mercedes pair lined up second and third on the grid behind pole-winner Max Verstappen. He started on the medium tyre compound, as did second-placed George Russell, while Hamilton had the advantage of soft rubber from third on the grid.

As they approached the first corner, Russell was exploring the outside line around Verstappen, while Hamilton gained on the pair of them. Hamilton attempted to go around the outside of both of them, but tangled with his team mate, Russell’s front-left wheel touching his right-rear.

Hamilton spun off the track, his right-rear suspension broken. Although he initially blamed his team mate for the crash, he retracted his comments afterwards.

“In the heat of the moment I was obviously frustrated because I felt this tap from the rear end,” said Hamilton in response to a question from RaceFans. “But I don’t think George had anywhere to go.

“I think it was just an unfortunate scenario. I’m happy to take responsibility because that’s my role. I need to go back and look at but I don’t feel like it was George’s fault.”

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He said he felt it was his role to accept responsibility for the collision as the team’s more experienced driver.

The pair discussed tactics before the race given they would be starting on different tyre compounds, he said. “Before the race we knew we had different tyres so he was like ‘let’s just work together today’.

“So we were talking about just working together. It was not our plan to come together.

“It’s just really gutting for the team. We’ve all worked so hard to be in that position and I felt just really sad for everybody for my part in it.”

“I had the soft tyre and everyone around me had the medium tyre and I needed to get by,” he added. “So I tried to go around the outside of Max.”

The collision “would be frustrating whoever you touch with,” Hamilton added, “but it’s frustrating when both of us ultimately spun out and went down the order.”

Russell was able to continue in the race after pitting for repairs. He told his team on the radio he was “lost for words” after seeing a replay of the collision on a video screen. “I couldn’t do anything. Totally sandwiched.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who is not present at this weekend’s race, came on the radio to tell Russell: “Let’s race now. Let’s get the best out of it.”

The stewards announced they will investigate the collision after the race. Hamilton is also under investigation for crossing the track without permission as he returned to the paddock.

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2023 Qatar 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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107 comments on “Hamilton accepts Russell had ‘nowhere to go’ in crash after blaming him on radio”

  1. That kind of maneuver always seems to be his weak point. Glad that Russell recovered well from it anyway.

    1. Yeah, I’d have to agree

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th October 2023, 19:44

      Clearly Russell wanted to lead the race there and keep Lewis behind. There was no plan to work together. He wasn’t looking behind at all as he said even though the only driver next to him was his teammate.

      1. even though the only driver next to him was his teammate.

        You blind?
        Max was right next to George.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th October 2023, 20:03

          Yeah but Max covered him and clearly Lewis was going to charge through with the softer tyre – George knew that. He made a move that slowed down Lewis otherwise Lewis would have been side-by-side with Max heading into corner as he was on the quicker side of the track. Anyway you look at it, Russell screwed Lewis’ chance of overtaking Max.

          1. Keep telling yourself that, Freelittlebirds.

            This 60% Lewis fault and 40 % Russell.

            But knowing who you typically judge this 70% Max’s fault and 30% Russell’s. Lewis did nothing wrong according to you.

      2. Russell knew Hamilton was starting on softs to his mediums. Hamilton was obviously suppose to get the jump on him, and hopefully take Verstappen. Lewis would then have tried to manage his tires ahead of Verstappen, eventually slowing Verstappen enough for Russell to catch up before he pits. If Russell wanted to get the jump on Verstappen then he would have started on softs, like he did yesterday and taken the gamble from Hamilton. If the two weren’t driving as a team, then Mecedes should have had Russell on the softs, or have them both on the same tires.

        Russell with his tire offsets just had to play the team game to get the benifits for the team ahead of the Ferraris. But no.
        He gets the slipstream on Verstappen and did what you normally do, on automatic in that position. He uses the slipstream to shoot wide pushing Hamilton Wider, blocking his team mate. Then as they take the corner, instead of tucking in behind Verstappen , he shows his nose to Hamilton.

        Game over. However much folks will say Hamilton should have driven wider, Hamilton was trusting his team mate on that tight corner to do the right thing. So much for cooperating. Why Russell, why?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th October 2023, 20:13

          Yeah, it was unfortunate since he was not in a bad spot behind Verstappen with Lewis charging on the left. I think Lewis fighting with Max, may have cleared the road for him completely or helped him down the road. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that it was game over for him and 2 podiums for Mercedes would have been a dream come true regardless of who had the better result.

    3. No. Hamilton’s made dozens have those moves breathtakingly superb. Just because he’s had perhaps a dozen or so in his career – doesn’t mean it’s a weakness.

      Although, he is clearly having more of them in a weaker car, simply because you’re always mixing with the others and over-anxious to take opportunities and are more likely to go for moves that are no there.

      Max prior to 2022 and Fernando for all of his career, have also made clumsy errors.

      1. Broderick, I have to agree there. I can recall times when Hamilton has been on the inside, in a similar position to Russel today, where he has started in P2 but loses one or two places during the first corner rather than ruin his race by trying to get more space on the crowded outside of the corner. I think that is true of many drivers, that as they mature, they become better at knowing when to back off and avoid ending their own race in turn 1. I suspect that if LH and GR had been the other way around today, Hamilton would have held tighter to the inside, Russel would have made the pass on the outside, and people here would be claiming Hamilton was past it because he’d been passed so easily by his team mate.

      2. I agree. It was unfortunate but it happens.

      3. My delusional mate, Hamilton drove around no one for the vast majority of 8 years and has had 5 racing incidents as you all call it in the last 6 races.

        Man just can’t race wheel to wheel and you and many posters exposed yourself after Silverstone 2 years ago as being absolutely delusional. Keep your delusions to yourself.

        1. Thats like saying there are more crasches in Porsches than with Pagani Zondas! Its quite obvious why!
          Its not really saying much.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    8th October 2023, 19:43

    The dynamic between Russell and Hamilton is definitely not complimentary. You do have to wonder where Mercedes would have ended today without the collision.

    Once Max chose to block Russell, any maneuver to free himself out of Max’s rear especially heading into the corner was going to put Hamilton in jeopardy who had a softer tire. But Russell wants to win and so does Hamilton and the usual outcome is that no one wins.

    Clearly Russell wanted to lead the race there and keep Lewis behind.

    1. Even Lewis has admitted on X that it was 100% his fault. Stop trying to blame George for Lewis’ mistakes.

      1. Lewis took the responsibility, but one could expect his teammate to drive a bit less aggressive against him. In the last 3 races Russell only went for his own result, and spoiled Hamiltons race with his selfish behaviour.

        1. I’m a Hamilton fan, but that was 100% Hamilton’s fault. The only way Russell could have avoided it was to back out, but there was no way he could expect Lewis to cut across him like that and by the time he could see it it was too late.

          It was very clumsy of Lewis, and it cost him a lot. They had a good shot at 2-3, looking at where George ended up even after that. He could have finished this weekend within half a dozen points of 2nd in the championship. We don’t often see such clumsiness from him (although I’m sure his detractors will disagree with that), but it was completely his fault and he paid for it.

          1. As much as I agree with the view that it was Hamilton’s fault and that like Russell, almost every driver would want to maximise their start, part of me still feels that ‘strategically’ a long term view may have been more beneficial given Hamilton’s soft tyre.

            I realise that a conservative start may have backfired had Hamilton made a bad getaway, or even put Russell at risk from other drivers behind. But wasn’t that gamble worth it for Mercedes’ optimal long term strategy?

          2. @DrMouse
            Finally some sense from a Hamilton fan. Not like the other delusional comments above blaming Russell.

            George had absolutely nowhere to go and would not have been expecting Lewis to cut across him. Lewis being the car behind had a view of the two cars ahead and should have accounted for leaving two car widths on the inside, which he didn’t do.
            I feel he had to come clean as it was his teammate but I’d bet my house on it that if it was Max he turned into he wouldn’t have admitted fault. Just my opinion of course.

          3. I wouldn’t go as far as that. I think it’s clear that Hamilton expected that Russell would have dropped in behind Verstappen from the way it was looking when he could see clearly, and by the time he did cut across he couldn’t see them clearly anymore. That said, it wasn’t a clever thing to do, and taking a wider line would still probably have left him ahead of or alongside Max at the exit… actually, maybe that was what he was trying to avoid, given Max’s penchant for running wide when Lewis is on the outside of him…

            As for admission of fault, Lewis is one of the quickest top-level to hold his hands up when he’s done something wrong. We’d have had that admission no matter who he hit, as soon as he’d reviewed it and seen that it was his fault.

          4. I think if Lewis had went any wider he would have been on the dirt with no grip, that’s why he turned in when he did. You could see the arc of marbles near his outer wheels from one of the replays.
            All the aggressive drivers run a chasing car out wide, not just Max. Lewis did it to George recently and also to Nico plenty of times, as long as you are ahead you have the right to do it.
            George had a slight run on Max on the run down to T1 and did the right thing by moving alongside to keep momentum, if even only to get in Max’ mirrors and try to compromise his line.
            Watching Lewis’ onboards again, he definitely saw them all go 3 abreast before he made his turn as he moved left to avoid George initially as he pulled alongside Max.

      2. Maybe some subtlety? It’s a really dull mind that just sees one person always to blame. @freelittlebirds is correct about Russell’s over competitiveness in this race. Hamilton is correct that he was to blame after that for diving into the corner too sharply. Or at least to blame for not reckoning with Russell’s desire to beat him whatever the points situation between HAM and Perez. He should have twigged by now that GR isn’t doing that.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th October 2023, 20:01

          @david-br I think if Russell had allowed Hamilton to tussle with Verstappen, that could have helped his own race ultimately but once Max covered him, his reaction was something you’d expect against another team’s driver where you do not want to concede position at any cost.

          You’re right that this may have cost Hamilton P2 in the championship in his fight with Perez.

          Hamilton may have misjudged it too but it was close enough that he was obliged to try it. I think he misjudged Russell’s intentions more than the distance :-)

          1. Michael, I think in hindsight, whether it was Hamilton or a McLaren coming past him at that point, it doesn’t matter. It is no good Russell saying it was his right of way, as it were, or saying that he should not concede position at any cost etc. Even if he had backed off and lost one track position in the first corner, he could still easily have finsihed the race in P3 or better. As it was, he did a great job in getting his head down and getting back to P4 from way back, but nevertheless he missed an opportunity. In F1, you don’t score points for being in the right.

          2. True, alan, this came up before in recent times in f1, take brazil 2018, where verstappen had overtaken hamilton and was winning but got hit by ocon, trying to unlap himself, which cost him first place: ocon got a 30 sec penalty, so verstappen was deemed to be in the right, but took excessive risk keeping ocon behind and even if the opponent gets a penalty your race can still be ruined.

            And then with the customary 5 sec penalties around nowadays, if you have a crash with someone who’s in the wrong and you get taken out, most likely the other driver will come out better off.

    2. This was an insightful discussion in the comments. It is clear freelittlebirds and madmax will always favour Hamilton whatever happens. I love clarity.

  3. Taking the responsibility like the champ he is. In Russells onboard one can see a little bit of understeer before the contact, but probably they would have also touched without that.

    1. Also blaming him the man he is

  4. It started by being Russell’s fault: Hamilton got the better start, Russell was boxed behind Verstappen and should have stayed there. But he swerves out, Hamilton takes avoiding action, Russell claims that space, Hamilton goes out further and then swoops into the corner to much when he should have known Russell would still be there. So 50/50 although I’d put the original fault down to Russell, he should have allowed Hamilton to make the move on Verstappen. But for good or bad, he’s not really a team player as we saw in Singapore, while I think Hamilton is trying a little harder to race as a team.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th October 2023, 20:11

      @david-br excellent analysis and there’s nothing wrong with Russell being selfish but it was clearly at the expense of the team and his teammate’s fight with Perez for P2 in the WDC.

      It would suit him to put the team ahead occasionally, not always. This was totally unnecessary – Max was just behind Verstappen in P2. It’s not the worst spot to be. The only reason to move is to want to take P1 on the 1st corner and deny it from Lewis and the team.

      If he keeps on racing for team Russell, then Lewis should also start racing for team Mercedes as the sole driver.

      1. @freelittlebirds I agree, it’s far from the first time Russell has been ultra-competitive while Hamilton seems to be wanting to play as a team. These incidents will be locked away for future use by Hamilton. I’m under no illusion that in a direct fight for a title, say, Hamilton would do the same. I just think Russell is making it too obvious to everyone that he’s competing right now.

        1. You guys are on another planet. Michaelfreebirds and DavidBR.
          Lewis admitted himself he was 100% at fault and yet you still can’t except it.

          Seriously? That’s taking fanaticism to a whole new level.

    2. Totally blinkered. What do you mean “should have stayed there”? Are you expecting him to let Lewis go at the point where he’s a car length ahead? It’s a nice idea in hindsight, but totally impractical.

      Lewis sees Max and Russell and knows George has nowhere to go he just misjudges it, like he did at Silverstone with Max, at Spa last year with Fernando and Monza with Oscar. It’s a poor move which he accepts 100% responsibility for. Trying to justify it is excessive, every crash has circumstantial evidence for the other driver.

      1. @rbalonso

        Totally blinkered.

        You mean yourself clearly, Hamilton is always at fault, right? Yes, I’m sure the team and Hamilton would expect Russell to know Hamilton is on a different strategy and given had already drawn level with George and had a chance to pass Verstappen, he should have let him go. Also Hamilton is in a points battle with Perez for second place, for what it’s worth (not much but something).
        As for the second bit, I said precisely the same: Hamilton at fault. Presumably you’re incapable of reading? Or you just like misrepresenting what people say?

        1. As oppose to when he’s never at fault? Which of the 4 incidents I mentioned is he not primarily responsible for?

          You’re defending the indefensible – the man himself said “I’m 100% at fault”. How much clearer would you like him to be?

          The idea that Russell concedes to Hamilton perhaps works if they’re racing each other after the first corner – there can be no games or pre-meditated plans going into Turn 1.

          I struggle reading “So 50/50 although I’d put the original fault down to Russell” and “It started by being Russell’s fault” as an admission that Lewis got it wrong.

          1. there can be no games or pre-meditated plans going into Turn 1.

            That sounds like meaningless fluff. Obviously you’ve no idea what Mercedes discussed before the start. But it’s also irrelevant. Russell clearly knew Hamilton was level and barged his way out of the box he was in, counting on Hamilton making room, which he did. But that also obviously denied Hamilton a good run at Verstappen into the first corners on the soft tyre in the process. He wanted the go at Verstappen, just as he did in Singapore against Sainz. Was that the best decision for the team? No because Hamilton outscoring Perez is more important at this point.
            Hamilton is clearly accepting 100% responsibility for turning in, which I agreed with already. It’s clumsy – which incidentally I also said he was back in Monza against Piastri. And quite similar, presuming he’s cleared a driver when he has’nt. Silverstone, I disagree, that was Max turning in on too far on a legitimate attempted pass and it should have been judged a racing incident. Spa and Alonso? I can’t recall it.

          2. I agree it’s meaningless fluff – it’s your inference that there should be an agreement prior to T1 from a team strategy perspective, which I reject.

            Why shouldn’t Russell move to the left, should he just accept being boxed in as his team-mate is there? That’s obsequious stuff. Once Russell moves left Hamilton needs to recognise that is the key moment where the outside move is no longer likely. Failing to do so is a driving error, irrespective of whether George is aggressive. It’s as though you want there to be an excuse for Hamilton making an error – why? Drivers make mistakes.

            Hamilton is at fault here, he was at fault in Monza and the Spa incident at Les Combes was another crash where he “assumed he’s cleared a driver when he hasn’t”. I’m happy to revisit Silverstone 21 if you like, but following a conversation with freelittlebirds last week on the matter I’ve reviewed it to nauseum – in any event I think Lewis makes an error of judgement and is predominantly at fault in what is, like Qatar 23, a racing incident.

            All of these crashes are very small misjudgements but they are technical driving errors from Lewis. Your initial comment simply looks for reasons to deflect blame and detract from a worrying trend for him.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            8th October 2023, 23:38


            Your initial comment simply looks for reasons to deflect blame and detract from a worrying trend for him.

            I disagree – Lewis could have stuck the pass – it did require a bit of help from Russell after he slowed him down or Russell not slowing him down prior to the corner and sticking behind Max.

            Both those scenarios would have put Lewis in a position to overtake Max but the wildcard there is Russell who is a Mercedes driver but only when it suits him and it doesn’t suit him often.

          4. You’re going round in circles because you’re confusing driving error (Hamilton’s) with racing fault (Russell’s). It was better for Mercedes and perhaps for Russell himself to let Hamilton try to pass Verstappen rather than forcing him wide but not really being in a position to challenge himself. Clearly Russell knew Hamilton had the chance for a better getaway on soft tyres and clearly there must have been some kind of team discussion about the difference in their respective strategies. Russell simply ignored that and went for his own race – not ‘obsequious’ as you put it. But I don’t think it was an optimal decision for the team or either driver.
            As for ‘detracting from a worrying trend’, hardly as I’ve pointed out these same errors on various occasions. If you want to extrapolate a ‘worrying trend’ from these errors, no problem, but it sounds a bit faux concerned. I think this is probably Hamilton’s worst year in Formula 1 in terms of his driving. I’d happily bet that given a better car with race-winning potential next year, he would (or will) be faster than Russell and making fewer of these sloppy mistakes. But hey, maybe I’m wrong and it’s ‘terminal decline’ or something equally melodramatic.

          5. Michael, George is already on the brakes committed to the corner, he can’t just vanish. He’s at full braking potential with a car to his right. The onus is on Lewis to make sure that he passes the car fully before turning in – that’s common sense. Be specific, what should George have done differently and at which part of the corner?

            David, there is no such thing as “racing fault”. Every team-mate collision has an alternative timeline that avoids the contact if both drivers did something different. It’s a team sport, but you can’t manufacture results going into Turn 1 – George has every right to fight it out, that’s not what creates the contact. To play the team game perhaps Lewis should have got out of it when contact would be inevitable?

            I’d argue 2011 was Lewis’ worst season following on from a poor end to 2010. 2008 had a few issues too. But during his prime from 2012 to 2020 I can’t remember many incidents Hamilton got into. The crashes with Rosberg were most Nico’s fault but Lewis is now getting into more incidents where he is mostly responsible. I think it’s fair to point out his wheel-to-wheel is not what it once was, I also don’t think it’s contentious given the growing list of accidents.

            You’re both trying to shoehorn a narrative that George has some obligation to leap out of the way when half a car ahead going into a braking zone on the basis that there is a tyre offset – can you give me a list of examples where the team-mate jumps out of the way of the driver on softs behind? Charles was on the softs in Singapore, I don’t remember Carlos moving aside for the benefit of the team – or is this just a Lewis Hamilton specific?

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        8th October 2023, 20:37

        The only point of coming out behind is to stop Lewis which he technically did…twice.

        How is it a poor move if Russell had backed out or Lewis had made it? There are 3 outcomes and only one where Lewis gets clipped. Max would have collected Russell and Lewis and Alonso there…

        1. It’s a poor move as Lewis can see 2 cars ahead of him and knows they only have one trajectory and he cuts across it.

          It’s poor space management, which he has developed a habit of in the past 3 seasons. Moving to the right there is expecting the 2 drivers on the inside to disappear or back out. To my mind he got on the dirty line on the outside of one and had to hope George had backed out early. It’s poor depth perception, he should be very far left or brake much deeper, instead he reacts late and has to cut across resulting in inevitable contact. Once Hamilton commits to the brakes it’s game over – there’s only one scenario not 3.

          1. @rbalonso safe your time trying to bring logic and sense to the conversation.

            Their fanatism for Lewis clouds their judgement.

            That also applies to those who blindly support Max too.

            It’s better use of your time to discuss with others, that are actually willing to debate, and ignore the ones that are a “lost cause”

            To your first comment I don’t think Lewis is 100% at fault. Looking back at the replays may 70% LH and 30% GR. Only because Russel made a couple of defensive move prior to the accident.

          2. @rbalonso
            Don’t worry about it. My last run-in with him was about Silverstone 21. In that thread he claimed Verstappen should have died there. He is a native speaker so he chose his words carefully. Not could, not might but should. Not once but 3 times in one reply, so it wasn’t a slip of the keyboard so to speak…

            All of the ‘discussion’ they put up here was null and void the moment Hamilton himself declared his comment from the car was wrong and that Russell actually had nowhere to go, admitting blame. The cognitive dissonance of that situation is causing some issues for some people around here.

          3. Doggy, Baasbas – yeah it’s a weird twist of logic. Some posters tune only changed once they’d seen Hamilton admit “100% fault”. I understand fanaticism and have no doubt been guilty of it in favour of Alonso in the past, but this takes the biscuit.

            As for the accident itself, I’d probably go for 80/20 Lewis. I used 100% as Lewis stated it, but no racing incident is ever 100%. The more I watch it, the worse it looks for Lewis though. He’s got all the facts in front of him and no doubt knew the line would be dusty. It’s an innocent miscalculation, nothing more. But I can’t sit idly by whilst posters write 50/50 or Russell’s fault as it just makes a mockery of the whole forum.

          4. @Doggy @baasbas @@rbalonso
            Oh, so 50/50 is totally unreasonable, not worth is discussing/worth trolling with comments like ‘blinkered’, but you’re willing to debate 30/70 or 20/80? Sorry but that’s a mockery of a forum of debate.
            50/50 is just a way of saying both were somewhat to blame. Read in good faith it’s clear I’m talking about a tactical (racing) error on Russell’s part and a driving (awareness) error on Hamilton’s part.
            I also added that, sure, there’s a legitimate argument to be made for Russell to fight every inch of the track with Hamilton. But note (@rbalonso) that Russell has since said they discussed not fighting with each other prior to the race. So Hamilton presuming that Russell would allow him to challenge Verstappen at the first corner makes some sense even if it was misconceived.
            Peter Windsor had it right. First, Russell is always a hard racer, wants to win everything and in that sense, within the team, is a Verstappen or Hamilton, not a Bottas or Perez. Which leads to the second point, if Hamilton wanted to try passing Verstappen at the first corner, he should have had that explicit conversation with Russell before the race, rather than the apparently vague conversation they had about ‘not racing each other.’ That’s not Russell code for ‘I’ll give way Lewis.’ Hamilton needs to clear this stuff as a favour Russell’s doing him (later repaid at some point). Basically Mercedes have two first drivers. You can say the same about McLaren now.

          5. @Doggy @baasbas @@rbalonso
            Oh, so 50/50 is totally unreasonable, not worth is discussing, but you’re willing to debate 30/70 or 20/80? Sorry but that’s a mockery of a forum of debate.
            50/50 is just a way of saying both were somewhat to blame. Read in good faith it’s clear I’m talking about a tactical (racing) error on Russell’s part and a driving (awareness) error on Hamilton’s part.
            I also added that, sure, there’s a legitimate argument to be made for Russell to fight every inch of the track with Hamilton. But note (@rbalonso) that Russell has since said they discussed not fighting with each other prior to the race. So Hamilton presuming that Russell would allow him to challenge Verstappen at the first corner makes some sense even if it was misconceived.
            Peter Windsor had it right. First, Russell is always a hard racer, wants to win everything and in that sense, within the team, is a Verstappen or Hamilton, not a Bottas or Perez. Which leads to the second point, if Hamilton wanted to try passing Verstappen at the first corner, he should have had that explicit conversation with Russell before the race, rather than the apparently vague conversation they had about ‘not racing each other.’ That’s not Russell code for ‘I’ll give way Lewis.’ Hamilton needs to clear this stuff as a favour Russell’s doing him (later repaid at some point). Basically Mercedes have two first drivers. You can say the same about McLaren now.

      3. I believe, naively or otherwise, that this website is one of the cleanest for objective reporting and commentary. I think there will be a new user today who watched their first race yesterday and are trying to build a rational case for each driver. As long term posters we should be challenging views that are contrary to popular belief. Reading your first comment in isolation, suggests that Hamilton is equally responsible for the crash. I think that is total nonsense.

        Your comment came across as trying to absolve Lewis of blame and that the accident wouldn’t have happened had Russell jumped out the way or if the team management had properly briefed them. The team instruction would likely be for after turn 1, into turn 1 is fair game. Hamilton accepts responsibility here, but you’re trying to bring in the “Russell is not a team player” narrative as a carry over from Suzuka and using this as an example when I think it’s much simpler – Hamilton made a driving error.

        1. @rbalonso Well I think the same and also think your view tends to be distorted by a degree of irrational anti-Hamilton bias. I realize you obviously don’t think that yourself. Hamilton clearly made an error turning into the corner too sharply. But that doesn’t mean that Russell fighting for the corner too was tactically ideal for the team or the drivers, as I tried to explain. At the same time I was happy Mercedes signed Russell precisely because he’s an aggressive (and skilled) racer. So really – as I also said – you can make an argument that it’s better (including for Mercedes long-term) he does race his own race,, remains competitive against Hamilton and has a good dose of ignoring team instructions when he thinks it better. But that doesn’t negate the fact that had Russell approached the first corner a bit more circumspectly, Mercedes would have had a better result.

    3. Yes but Lewis was a bit more behind then you thought and that is why George opened up. The everything happen so fast i don’t think George had time to react before he hit Lewis.

      1. George didn’t hit Lewis, he was hit by Lewis.
        It’s funny how Lewis did exactly was he was trying to frame Max for at Silverstone ’21 only Max left more than enough room and Lewis didn’t on this occasion. I didn’t hear any apology or admission of fault from Lewis back then.

  5. Merc throw Hamilton on a desperation strategy, one where Lewis is obligated to pit within a few laps of starting, from high up the order, a guaranteed back of the order shunt. And you wonder why he was so desperate at the beginning of the race. Good job Merc, another amusing blow hard run by Lewis on a no chance strategy.

    1. @pcxmac that was a stupid call, to start on softs. Russell at the end of the race in light fuel was slower than Leclerc behind on older mediums. Hamilton on softs with a race load of fuel would have been eaten alive and have to pit within the first eight laps.

    2. Agreed!

      Russell knows hamilton is coming in earlier, he also knows Hamilton needs to get ahead on those softs, and put Verstappen under preaassure, something no other driver has been able to do.

      Instead of playing the game , Russells blocks Hamilton, as if Hamilton was suppose to sit behind him with his softs. This made no sense. zero forward thinking by Russell, dualing it out with Hamilton instead of holding his position.

      As a team, Russell must have known the best thing would be for Hamilton get a head with as little wear on his softs as possible. Ditto for his own tires. He could have sat behind Verstappen, preserving his tires, watched as Hamilton tried to keep Verstappen behind him and then picked up the pace when Hamilton pitted.

      The first round was mapped out for Russell, if he’d bothered to think ahead. Instead he’s eating up his tires jostling with Hamilton, forcing him wide. Then sticking his nose out instead of tucking in behind Verstappen.

      1. I don’t think Hamilton getting the lead out of turn one was anywhere near as mission-critical as is being suggested here. Clearly the plan was to pit him on lap 4 or so (ideally with an early safety car) and do the offset strategy. Bottas was the lead car on that strategy – although the Sky commentary team completely missed its significance – and ended up well ahead of where he would normally be, so clearly it wasn’t a terrible shout.

        With such an early pit stop it wouldn’t have made much of a difference whether Hamilton was a couple of seconds in the lead or a few seconds behind in P2 or P3, especially with the hoped-for safety car to close things up. So the desperation was not necessary.

  6. Lewis was obviously expecting George to have tucked in behind Max, because there was no point George being where he was, apart from holding Lewis out. Max was going to take the T2 apex anyway, unless Lewis could get there on his Softs

    1. @zann Exactly.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th October 2023, 20:15

      @zann yeah, Russell’s double defense was only supposed to hold Lewis back

  7. Wel , good to see I was right.
    Lewis stated on softs and threw it away before the second corner.
    Way to eager ..

    1. Another dull mind.

      1. Why, because he doesnt comply with the Hamilton cult?

        1. No, because he complies with the anti-Hamilton cult. Which means it’s always 100% Hamilton to blame.

          1. The problem is that sometimes Hamilton is 100% to blame, as was the case on this occasion.

          2. @red-andy Well sure, a broken clock etc.
            I enjoy Formula 1 precisely because we get to see split-second decisions taken at phenomenally high speed and these incidents are interesting because there are always multiple factors in play. I’m lost as to why Hamilton cut into then corner so acutely when it seems obvious Russell would be there. But then it’s also what Verstappen did at Copse, Silverstone in 2021 (when, of course, all the criticisms were reversed for some people and Hamilton was again blamed ‘100%’ for that one). But Hamilton’s move was also a chain reaction to Russell’s own aggression in effectively pushing Hamilton wide into the corner. My guess was that Hamilton moved left to allow Russell to ‘unbox’ himself but presumed that Russell would return the favour by not challenging for the corner. If so, miscalculated.

          3. I did think straight away that it was like Silverstone 21 with the roles reversed, yet both are Lewis’s fault, Its like the Lewis detractors want there cake and also to eat it.
            Its one or the other but cant be both.

          4. You’re going to have to remind me which other car was on Hamilton’s right at Silverstone 2021, preventing him from taking a normal line through the apex.

          5. The line Lewis was on at Silverstone 21, being on the right side of the track into a right hander was the natural line, being side by side Max should of known this but still cut across. The stewards recognised this when saying Lewis wasn’t wholly to blame
            The line George took was the only route he could take and Lewis, who has said ‘My Bad’, cut across George wishfully thinking George would leave room, a bit like Max expecting Lewis to ever disappear or break the laws of angular momentum and take a tighter line.
            Now, how is it that the driver in the wrong, the one cutting across is not to blame, its one or the other, but not both.
            ‘Cake and eat it’ me thinks.

          6. Yes, I always thought hamilton was to blame in silverstone 2021 and indeed the stewards gave him a penalty, albeit insignificant; in this one case at first I blamed russell, since hamilton ended up being the victim, then upon checking it on the replay, there wasn’t much room at all for russell, unless he backed out, while hamilton could’ve gone further to the outside.

            In the end, he already paid for his mistake, I’d have liked to see him close in on perez on the championship, and being lap 1 it makes sense they deemed this a racing incident, but I agree with what some people said earlier: russell is playing for himself, he’s not playing the team game much, and given the tyres they had he could’ve let hamilton give a shot at verstappen.

            Obviously I will refer to singapore as well, as I feel mercedes should’ve only stopped hamilton, since russell was already in a good position (2nd) and hamilton looked like the faster driver on their charge; I think pitting both was a losing strategy and that they only did that cause russell wanted to go for the win himself at all costs, even if that decreased the chance the team had to win.

          7. @PlosslF1
            Here is a good analysis of the shunt at Silverstone ’21 from someone who knows what they are talking about.
            Lewis did not take a ‘natural line’. In fact, if he took that same line he did when hitting Max against Leclerc on a couple of occasions, he would have rammed the Ferrari out of those races too. Too many people comment here without knowing the fundamentals of car positioning.


          8. Lewis was taking a line that would naturally happen with the positioning of the car on the track at the time, if Lewis would of been on the kerb going into Copse he would of hit the apex way to early and ended up off track by a large margin. Lewis was also slowing when the collision happened as you can see from the on boards which would of tightened hes line through the corner, Lewis is on hes driving line with some understeer, which would happen even if you had tyres made of glue.
            The corner was lost, but Max then carries on taking a line like a car isnt there, this is why the stewards decided that Lewis wasnt ‘wholly’ to blame as Max took a line like he was on hes own, not with a car on the inside. It was the day that ‘My corner or we crash came home to roost’.
            Personally I think it was just a racing incident that occurs in milliseconds, but the common denominator between these two incidents is that the car on the outside cut across the car on the inside expecting it not to be there.

          9. @PlosslF1
            Definitely not a racing incident.
            Max didn’t turn in like nobody was there, he left one and a half cars width for Lewis. No less than Leclerc left for him either if you care to watch the onboards.
            Silverstone is always the sticking point that Hamilton fans refuse to admit to. To do that takes away the pretence of a title robbery.
            I’m guessing you didn’t watch the attached link? It explains it in all in detail if you care to watch.

      2. I’m a Hamilton fan, and I agree with osnola in this instance. Lewis threw away what would likely have been a podium finish, though I’d say it was by being a little clumsy rather than too eager.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th October 2023, 23:43

          @drmouse the podium finish was far from guaranteed unless he could have cleared Russell – Piastri and Norris were pretty quick and not that far off Verstappen. Russell would have slowed Lewis down and put him in Piastri’s and Norris’ sights.

          The move was right – the circumstances leading to it were what screwed it up. I’m not blaming Russell for what he did except in the sense that it wasn’t the right play for him and the team.

          1. The podium wasn’t guaranteed, but it was likely. George ended up in 4th even after this incident and an extra pit stop compared to everyone else, and was pretty much a pit stop down at the end. It definitely want a certainty, but it looks like it would have been a 4 way fight for the bottom two steps of the podium at least.

      3. David-br there is no need to insult others just because they don’t share your POV. Especially since Osnola’s comment wasn’t toxic or offensive.

        Just because you’re a Lewis fan, doesn’t mean that he does everything to perfection.

        In this incident, Lewis was mostly at fault. He may have misjudged his maneuver because the approach taken there was to kill or die due to the red tires.

  8. Although Russell can’t be blamed for the collision, I can’t help but feel like backing out was his best option for the team. From his position he would never have gotten past Max, but Lewis with the soft tyres would’ve had a chance and you can’t blame Lewis for trying.
    I just cannot imagine that this scenario would not have come up during the pre race tactical discussions. Especially after seeing how much better the soft was at the start of the sprint race.

  9. Watch it again
    George clearly had no where to go
    100% Lewis at foult
    And he blames him
    Are you kidding me

    1. Did you read the article where he’s gone back on what he said in the heat of the moment and taken responsibility for the collision?

      No, thought not.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th October 2023, 20:18

      @prelvu there’s a lot more to that because Max decided to cover Russell which meant that Lewis was then free to attack Max on the faster side of the track with soft tyres but Russell jumps out pushing Lewis wide and slowing him down, then they go into the corner and Russell doesn’t tuck in behind Max but takes just enough space to touch Lewis’s rear wheel.

      I’d understand if a WDC was on the line between the 2 drivers or they drove for different teams but this was silly given the track conditions and the tyre choices. If Russell was going to do that, he should have been on the soft tyre…

    3. @prelvu, I think if you watch the overhead shot, there can be no doubt Hamilton misjudged it, albeit only a matter of centimeters, and at that point, Russel had nowhere to go. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. Hamilton said so himself once he saw the replay. But should Russell have put himself in a position where he had nowhere to go? Maybe not, and I suspect that with more experience he will be better at avoiding those situations in future. Should Mercedes strategists have talked about this before the race? Definitely. If Russell had held tight right, Hamilton would have had a great shot at getting alongside Max, and if Max had tried to defend against Hamilton, Russell would then be well placed to put pressure on the other side, which would have been great team driving. Ultimately, I think the “fault” is that the Merc team didn’t prepare the drivers properly and maybe the absence of Wolff meant there was a lack of authority and clarity of instruction in the planning meeting.

  10. Its almost like they didnt discuss the start off the race between them, Lewis on the clean side off the track on softs was obviously, with a good a start, going to go flying around the outside of Max at turn one, George was stuck in no mans land and should of throttled off and tucked in behind Max.
    Lewis has rightly held hes hand up as ‘My Bad’ but George should of been with the program…

  11. This was so odd I couldn’t quite believe how aggressive he went for his own driving style. Feels a bit stupid actually, he’d probably open lap 2 at 1st had he given fair space.

    It’s unusual to see a race where the two most glorified drivers on the grid making clumsy mistakes. That ALO gravel trip was strange as well.

    1. Alonso’s sojourn through the gravel was him correcting snap oversteer and it spat him wide, he was very lucky not to go in backwards…

      1. That was actually cool because it was similar in fashion to Lawson’s ( perhaps a bit slower) he knew exactly not to stop the car in gravel and knew where the exit road was. Experience made a big difference there.

  12. Haha, don’t you see that this is just a game and Hamilton is a team player and doesn’t want to get Russel a penalty after the race so it is tactical that he takes responsibility even if he is not at fault. Actually here is no one at fault if you go 3 cars side by side on any track it will end up no good for someone.

  13. Hmm, without beeing wise after the event it was utterly predictible that if you put your second driver on tires which are only good for a couple of laps, he going to attack desperately at the start. Mercedes should have planned for that or shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
    It was a bit unlucky, like yesterday. Three cars into one corner doesn’t go, except this time Hamilton knew two other cars were there. Nothing Russell could have done differently, except for yielding to Hamilton before braking, but he obviously wasn’t instructed to do so and as he’s been the faster car all weekend, so there’s no point why he should harm his own race.
    Hamilton should have been a little bit more weary and less greedy, that wasn’t the teamplayer as we used him to see and he fortunately he knows it and stood up to it as the champion he is.

    1. It was a bit unlucky, like yesterday. Three cars into one corner doesn’t go, except this time Hamilton knew two other cars were there.

      I think the word ‘except’ is doing some pretty heavy lifting here – the fact that Hamilton knew Verstappen was there (as Ocon did not, with Perez, on Saturday) makes this a very different situation and makes Hamilton much more culpable than Ocon was.

      In addition, Ocon was on the inside of the next corner, so it was only natural that he would want to move to the outside in order to reduce the angle and carry more speed through the turn – it was just unfortunate that Hulkenberg couldn’t mirror his actions because he was boxed in by another car. By contrast, Hamilton was on the outside, and had lots of room to go wider if he wanted, so there was no need for him to chop across the other cars as aggressively as he did. A lot of racing fairly and avoiding collisions is about being predictable, and Hamilton was the opposite of that.

    2. Roadrunner:

      so there’s no point why he should harm his own race.

      And yet that is what he did. It wasn’t that GR had nowhere else to go. He had the option of tucking back in behind Max and not putting his whole race at risk for the sake of one congested corner. It doesn’t matter who was trying to pass him at that point, and it doesn’t matter who was at fault. The bottom line is that his own actions probably cost him at least a podium, and very nearly put himself out of the race.

      1. No Sir, absolutely not. Shifting blame to the victime is never a valid argumentation. Not in racing nor in the real world. And saying Russell should have yielded just because there’s the possibly that an other car makes a mistake and takes him out of the race is pretty much exactly that.

        1. @roadrunner, I am not shifting blame to the victim, I am saying that no matter who you think is right or wrong, the end result is Russell didn’t score the points he could have done. You don’t score points in racing for being in the right. Same in real life. If I see a truck running a red light, I can stay on the pavement and shake my fist angrily at him, or I can cross anyway and from my hospital bed croak “but it was my right of way”. Sometimes you just have to accept that shaking the fist is the better strategy.

          1. You said it. ‘Seeing’ is the keyword. You and me and Russell, like any sane person, would of course back out if we see the truck braking. However in this incident Russell didn’t and couldn’t see Hamilton. Hamilton was the one who knew what was going on and decided to attack.

  14. Good to see the Hamilton cult out in force tonight.
    Yet another poor lunge from their hero but they’ll never accept that he was in the wrong (again)

  15. Some Cirque du Soleil level mental gymnastics going on in this thread.. nice

    1. Yep. Unless you’ve actually raced a formula car you have no idea how quickly things go and how quickly you have to react. I raced junior formula and always had a start plan; I had a plan, but not once did what I planned actually happen. This was a situation that happened in an instant and had to be reacted to while driving at high speed into a corner with cars almost in contact. I seriously doubt if either driver referred back to ‘the plan’ as this was happening. They reacted, and Lewis, as he acknowledges, made a mistake. Can we please just call this a racing incident and stop with all the conspiracy BS? It gets old……

      1. @stever
        That seems like a too fair judgement of what actually happened and a far too nuanced comment for the internet. You need to up your game, at least throw in an ad hominem or you’ll get left behind

  16. This is why Perez is in the second Redbull. When you have two guys as ambitious as each-other this happens. Doesn’t matter if it is to lead a race in a Mercedes or race for 15th in a Haas. I think the ultimate blame is on no one but the spirit of racing.

  17. This was embarassing.
    He had the grip to go wider around Russell and maybe even Max, but miscalculated everything.

    Don’t know if Mercedes could’ve kept the Mclarens behind, but ahead of Ferrari and Aston Martin was a sure thing today.

    1. Yes, a damn shame, gaining 12 points or so could’ve been important on perez.

      1. @esploratore1 I think Mercedes will keep their 2nd place in the championship.

        But I believe is a collective wishful thinking that Lewis will beat Checo. As I See it, It’s more likely that Lando beat Alonso instead.

        @Edvaldo and @Esploratore, with regards to the crash, it was long overdue and we also saw it coming since last season. This, in my opinion, Is the inflection point that will create a gloves-off in the relation between Lewis and Russel.

  18. If Lewis had not been on the outside at turn 1, where would George have ended up? Not leading the race, methinks.
    They only chance for a Mercedes to lead the race was the guy on the soft tyres on the racing line. I can’t see what George thought he could achieve by hanging around just to the outside of Max’s car. Didn’t George know that Lewis was nearby, probably on the outside, on soft tyres? Why not tuck in and wait for Lewise’s tyres to go off?
    The idea that the team did not discuss this situation beforehand is laughable. Mercedes have no chance against Red Bull if they don’t plan for this sort of thing, or carry out the plan properly. Red Bull would have done both those things.

    1. Even the all conquering mercedes used to plan this sort of stuff, I remember in 2018 with bottas during one of the most competitive seasons of the hybrid era some formation starts by mercedes after having locked the front row, not allowing vettel to come through on turn 1, where it was clear they had planned it before.

  19. The crash might be Hamilton’s fault (once he’s at that position he should have backed out or gone wider, that’s on him) but to me it’s clear Russell has been racing these two seasons with Hamilton in his sights. He’s given up chances for the team to win (even if they are smaller) to maximize his own results. That’s fair, but the team should stop pretending that the drivers are ever going to help each other.

  20. HAM took responsibility to prevent the stewards from giving RUS a penalty since Mercedes desperately needs the points. RUS got “squeezed” because he was following VER on the start and then jumped right to block HAM. As others have said, HAM was on softs and needed to get ahead. Mercedes had 2 strategies. There was no way RUS was going to make a late move on VER into that corner. It would have been one thing if RUS tried to out run VER at the start but he didn’t.

  21. It is sooo amusing to watch the brigade making excuses and defending the indefensible. I am voting for many more starts like this one. Like every racing weekend. And read how really it was George, or Max, or Christian Horner, or maybe JM Fangio, who knows, the one to blame.

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