Hamilton ‘would have been on the podium for sure’ without pair of collisions

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes believe he would have been in contention to finish on the podium had he not been involved in two collisions during the race.

The Mercedes driver was involved in the multi-car tangle at the beginning of the race which dropped him further back from his 10th place starting position. He made gains from there but suffered another setback when he tangled with Oscar Piastri and sustained a puncture.

He eventually finished seventh, but admitted he had the pace to finish much higher up.

“I had no idea what would be possible,” said Hamilton after the race. “I’m grateful to get a couple of points at least. But would have been a podium for sure.”

Hamilton was classified one place ahead of his team mate George Russell, who finished fourth on the road but was demoted to eighth place by a five-second time penalty for a collision with Max Verstappen.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said their cars were quick enough to score better results but both drivers were compromised by incidents. “Lewis got hit twice and George had a mistake,” he said.

“That race summarises our season,” Wolff explained. “A quick car that is able to fight for a podium – Lewis was doing Leclerc’s times as well in free air.

“But then obviously he was involved in two accidents, and then George with Max, [so] you can’t win, you can’t be in the front.”

Mercedes’ points advantage over Ferrari in the fight for second place in the constructors championship was almost eradicated in Las Vegas. Ferrari lie just four points behind them going into next weekend’s season finale at Yas Marina.

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The situation reminded Wolff of Hamilton’s controversial championship defeat to Verstappen at the circuit two years earlier, though he indicated the outcome of this contest doesn’t matter as much to him.

“I think we’re going there pretty much equal on points,” said Wolff. “With a proper race director, so that should be fine.

“And then let’s race. It’s all down to the last weekend. They are very quick and done a good job. I think we could have been on par today. But the result shows something different. So let’s race.

“To be honest it’s good to have P2 as a positive to finish the season but P2, P3 for me there is little… it doesn’t make me particularly cheer any way.”

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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
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23 comments on “Hamilton ‘would have been on the podium for sure’ without pair of collisions”

  1. it was unlucky, apart from the bad qualifying, tho it could have been worse in T1. When he’s a bit older, I think Oscar would have given it up sooner, and if George was supposed to get out of Max’s way I think he ought to have. But it is a very crashy kind of track generally

    1. max would have lost position had they not collided. max knew what he was doing.

      1. How could he have “lost position” while driving behind Russell.
        He was gaining position and Russell never expected him there and steered in

        1. usual divebomb signature move, expecting others to give way for the bully

          1. @madmax not a dive bomb, was alongside for 4 seconds, built up gradually, was apexing just fine and as per FIA’s racing rules had a right to be given space by Russell.

            Russell did not see him and was at fault – end of.

            Yes Max knew what he was doing: racing.

  2. Overall, a good season. Beat his teammate by 70 odd points, and nabbed P3 in the standings, despite Ferrari, McLaren and to a lesser extent, AM, all taking it in turns with Merc, to have the second best car.

  3. sainz and Lewis had i believe the next best pace. it was very much a race out of order, and if ferrari had been behind VES before last SC they might have won with a switch to mediums. good to see mercedes passing cars down the straight, and good to see Lewis with great race pace. i think Russell would have been on the podium, had he the same race pace as Lewis, so mercedes probably lacking still down the straight during qualifying.

    1. just have to add, max smashing people on the inside of the corner, is pretty poor habit, its sad to see him resort to such tactics which ended up punishing Russell, who definitely didnt deserve that penalty. watching max routinely bash or run people off the road with little punishment reminds me of marquez in motogp, also a pilot who ended up getting destroyed by injury. max should respect the drivers around him a bit more, and the stewards are only inviting a disaster with that kind of driving being incentivized.

      1. lol, me too, I was expecting Max to get the penalty! Completely off line, only half way alongside at the very last moment when George would already have been turning in, to such a tight corner. He’s getting more arrogant with all the success, like his smartass comment to the stewards

        1. Let’s see
          Russell believed it was his fault.
          The stewards believed it was Russells fault and even toto believes it was Russells fault
          So it must be max fault according to some here ..

          1. I still find it peculiar that F1 has reached a place where it is the responsibility of the car being overtaken to ensure the pass is clean. Most racing, it’s assumed that the car ahead has the “right of way”, and that it’s the responsibility of the overtaking car to ensure there’s no collision.

            But F1 has reversed this for some reason, and relatively recently.

          2. well you can look at it yourself or depending on your resources you can wait for someone to tell you what to think. Tho I was talking about the time before i knew what George, Toto and the stewards thought, before I disagreed with them. But as grat says the rule seems to be that any overlap is enough

          3. Max has a habit of drawing a line straight to the edge of the road, and running people off the road, and that was the only way Russell would have saved his car from impact, is if he want way off line. This is acceptable racing according to the stewards, yet nobody else drives like this because only ***ts drive like that. Russell would have passed him back, but good for max he bashed in to Russell in order to keep that from happening. You think Max was trying to overtake my friend, but he meant to hit russell. And he got away with it completely.
            Its only Russell’s fault for being an idiot for taking the blame for someone else’s petulant driving. Lewis would have seen it the other way in an honest conversation, at no time was max ahead, and at no time could Russell have been allowed to continue on ANY racing line.

          4. @pcxmac when two drivers go into a corner and one is overtaking the other, it is evident that at least one driver will not be able to take the regular racing line and apex, as two cars cannot be on the same place at the same time together. So yep, a driver overtaking on the inside will always mean the overtaken driver goes off line. Nothing about this is unacceptable. Nothing about this is petulant.

            Max did not “bash in to Russell” – Max apexed just fine, Russell turned in on him. Max also didn’t lunge – he had been alongside for 4 seconds. Max doesn’t need to be ahead to have a right to racing room. If you somehow believe that to be the case, you need to check the rulebook AND the driving standards guidelines that the FIA published beginning of 2022 and have been following since.

            I will quote:

            1. Guidelines for overtaking on the inside of a corner:
            “In order for a car being overtaken to be required to give sufficient room to an overtaking car, the overtaking car needs to have a significant portion of the car alongside the car being overtaken and the overtaking manoeuvre must be done in a safe and controlled manner, while enabling the car to clearly remain within the limits of the track.
            When considering what is a ‘significant portion’ for an overtaking on the inside of a corner, among the various factors that will be looked at by the stewards when exercising their discretion, the stewards will consider if the overtaking car’s front tires are alongside the other car by no later than the apex of the corner.”

            Max easily met all of these requirements. Russell was at fault, needed to give space but didn’t, and admitted as such.

            Had Russell actually taken notice of Max being there, he would simply have taken a wider line into the corner, wouldn’t have had to go off track, and no collision would have ensued.

          5. @pcxmac also, I didn’t pick up on this in my previous reply, but if you honestly believe Max “wanted” to hit Russell, I don’t know what to tell you. He was racing for the win, he knows as well as anyone else that hitting a car usually does not improve your chances to win a race.

          6. looking at it again, Max was more alongside and for longer, than i remembered. Still, the shape of that corner exit is such an acute angle that it needed George to basically drive into the runoff to let him through. Which is what Zhou did, being a backmarker, and then Max was expecting George Russell in a Mercedes to do the same, which wasn’t reasonable I don’t think. It’s not a corner they can take on the inside. So it just lacked respect and I thought it was reasonable for George not to be expecting it

          7. @zann it didn’t need George to drive into the runoff, it needed George to take a wider entry line. We see that all the time in passing. That’s racing.

  4. Brought experience to play in his “accidental” shunt with Piastri. Didn’t go to plan. The result was slight damage to OP but a puncture for Lewis, and much lost time and a drop down the field.

    1. Actually if not for the collision Piastri could have ended up in fourth place. This is the second unnecessary collision between the two this year and the Aussie has got the short end of the stick each time. Until the youngster learns the tit for tat principle, it will happen again.

      1. @RR, both got punctures from the touch up, Oscar just pitted straight away but I have no idea why McLaren left him on hards instead of putting him on mediums.
        I think Lewis and Oscar will soon learn to respect each other better, but I think they will clash again, Oscar just needs some more finesse to ensure it upsets Lewis’s race and not his own.

  5. Ifs and buts and maybes. Woulds and coulds and shoulds.

    Without Carlos’s penalty (not his fault) and spin at T1 (his fault) it would have been Carlos at the podium, but there was no room for a Merc. RBRs and Fezzas were way above the rest.

    Given enough wouldas anyone shoulda achieve anything.

  6. Interesting no one is talking about Hamilton once again ruining Piastri‘s race. He clearly was in the wrong and although he got a puncture, Piastri. also suffered damage which cost him several places. This is a repeat of the Monza race.

    How does this guy get away with not even being investigated by the stewards. Admittedly not a Hamilton fan, I do get some satisfaction hearing him pat himself on the ass for finishing seventh.

  7. Yeah but how did Stroll and Ocon manage to pull 4th and 5th from way back if Merc couldn’t do better?

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