Hamilton Admits Full Fault for Qatar GP Crash with Russell
Lewis Hamilton has taken responsibility for the first-lap collision with his teammate George Russell that led to his exit from the Qatar Grand Prix. The seven-time world champion made an ambitious move around the outside into turn one, attempting to secure the second position from Russell. However, his judgment was off, and he found himself stuck in the gravel. Russell also suffered a setback but managed to carry on, ultimately finishing in fourth place after a recovery.
Lewis Hamilton has taken “full responsibility” for the first-lap crash with his team-mate George Russell at the Qatar Grand Prix, which was won by Max Verstappen.
The Mercedes pair come together after the seven-time world champion attempted an ambitious move around the outside of turn one on the grippier soft tyres.
Russell, who started second, had Verstappen on his inside, so had no space to get out the way and avoid the collision.
The contact left Hamilton stranded in the gravel and out of the race and he initially pinned the blame on his team-mate.
Asked if he was okay over the team radio, he replied: “I got taken out by my own team-mate.”
There were shades of Belgium 2014 and Spain 2016 when Hamilton was locked in an intense all-Mercedes battle with Nico Rosberg.
The 38-year-old spoke to Sky Sports before reviewing the incident and said: “I just feel really sorry to my team. It was an opportunity today to get some good points and in the heat of the moment I didn’t really understand what happened.
“I just obviously felt a tap from behind but I don’t think George had anywhere to go.
“Yeah it’s just one of those really unfortunate situations. I’m happy to take responsibility as the older one.”
Upon seeing it back, he wrote on X [formerly Twitter]: “I’ve watched the replay and it was 100% my fault and I take full responsibility. Apologies to my team and to George.”
Russell was incensed in the immediate aftermath, saying: “Guys come on. Two races in a row.”
It forced him to pit at the end of the first lap but he was able to continue and fought back to finish strongly in fourth, as Verstappen sealed his 14th win of the season.
Speaking after the race, he acknowledged the difficulty of going wheel-to-wheel in the current generation of cars and said there would be no issue with Hamilton going forward.
“We all have the potential to reach the podium,” he commented, “and, of course, there were no ill intentions from either side. These cars can be challenging to spot while racing, given their substantial blind spots.
“We hold a high level of mutual respect for one another, so we’ll overcome this situation. I’m confident we’ll have a conversation, and I believe everything will be resolved positively.”
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